Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Clin Nutr. 2013 Oct;32(5):671-8. doi: 10.1016/j.clnu.2013.06.012. Epub 2013 Jun 26.

Effect of nutritional interventions on nutritional status, quality of life and mortality in patients with head and neck cancer receiving (chemo)radiotherapy: a systematic review.

Author information

Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, Internal Medicine, VU University Medical Center Amsterdam, PO Box 7057, 1007 MB Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Electronic address:



We performed a systematic review to examine the effect of nutritional interventions on nutritional status, quality of life (QoL) and mortality in patients with head and neck squamous cell cancer (HNSCC) receiving radiotherapy or chemoradiotherapy.


We searched Pubmed, EMBASE, CENTRAL and Cinahl from inception through January 3rd, 2012 to identify randomized controlled trials (RCTs) from a broad range of nutritional interventions in patients with HNSCC during (chemo)radiotherapy. Two reviewers independently assessed study eligibility and risk of bias, and extracted data.


Of 1141 titles identified, 12 study reports were finally included, describing 10 different studies with 11 interventions. Four out of 10 studies examined the effects of individualized dietary counseling, and showed significant benefits on nutritional status and QOL compared to no counseling or general nutritional advice by a nurse (p < 0.05). Three studies on oral nutritional supplements (ONS) were inconsistent about the effect on nutritional status compared with no supplementation. One study showed that nasogastric tube feeding had beneficial effects on nutritional status compared to ONS, but not in all patient groups (p < 0.04). One study showed benefits of percutaneous endoscopic gastronomy (PEG) feeding on nutritional status shortly after RT compared with nasogastric feeding (p = 0.001). Two studies showed that prophylactic PEG feeding was not superior over tube feeding if required.


This review shows beneficial effects of individualized dietary counseling on nutritional status and QoL, compared to no counseling or standard nutritional advice. Effects of ONS and tube feeding were inconsistent.


CRT; Dietary counseling; HNSCC; Head and neck cancer; Malnutrition; NG; ONS; PEG; QoL; RCT; RT; Radiotherapy; Tube feeding; Weight loss; chemoradiotherapy; head and neck squamous cell cancer; nasogastric; oral nutritional supplements; percutaneous endoscopic gastronomy; quality of life; radiotherapy; randomized controlled trial

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons


    Supplemental Content

    Loading ...
    Support Center