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Cancer. 1990 Sep 15;66(6):1279-82.

A controlled trial of megestrol acetate on appetite, caloric intake, nutritional status, and other symptoms in patients with advanced cancer.

Author information

1
Edmonton General Hospital, Cross Cancer Institute, University of Alberta, Canada.

Abstract

This double-blind, cross-over trial was designed to assess the effects of megestrol acetate (MA) on cancer-induced cachexia. Forty consecutive malnourished patients with advanced non-hormone-responsive tumors receiving no antineoplastic treatment were randomized to receive MA 480 mg/day versus placebo for 7 days. During day 8, a cross-over was made until day 15. Appetite, pain, nausea, depression, energy, and well-being were assessed with a visual analog scale (0 to 100 mm) at 9:00 AM and 4:00 PM during days 6, 7, 13, and 14. Weight (W;kg), tricep skinfold (TS; mm), arm circumference (AC; cm), and calf circumference (CC; cm) were measured at days 1, 8, and 15. Caloric intake (CI; Kcal/day) was determined during days 6, 7, 13, and 14. In 31 evaluable patients, the percentual difference in appetite at 9:00 AM, appetite at 4:00 PM, energy, and well-being after MA was +15.1, +14, +3.2, and +5.2, versus -12 (P = 0.03), -5.1 (P = 0.015), -10 (P = 0.024), and -8.3 (not significant) after placebo. Percentual difference in W, TS, AC, and CC after MA was +0.2, +1, -0.1, and +0.4 versus -0.8 (P = 0.03), -0.8 (P = 0.001), -0.3 (not significant), and -0.5 (P = 0.04) after placebo. CI during MA was 3480 +/- 1574 (48-hour intake), versus 2793 +/- 1542 (P less than 0.001) during placebo. Patients and investigators blindly chose MA in 20 (66%, P = 0.023) and 28 cases (92%, P less than 0.001), placebo in eight and two cases, and made no choice in three and one cases, respectively. Toxicity consisted of mild edema and nausea in three and two cases, respectively. After mean follow-up of 27 +/- 13 days, on an open basis, an average increase in W and AC of 4.8 +/- 1.7 kg and 2.8 +/- 1.7 cm was observed, respectively. The authors conclude that MA is a powerful appetite stimulant with subjective and objective effects on nutritional status.

PMID:
2205358
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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