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Cancer. 1989 Jul 15;64(2):491-509.

Integration of nutrition support into oncologic treatment protocols for high and low nutritional risk children with Wilms' tumor. A prospective randomized study.

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Department of Pediatric Nutrition and Dietetics, James Whitcomb Riley Hospital for Children, Indianapolis, IN 46223.


Benefits and risks of nutrition support were evaluated in 31 malnourished children with newly diagnosed Wilms' tumor managed according to the third National Wilms' Tumor Study protocol. Patients were classified at diagnosis as being at high nutritional risk (HNR, n = 19) or low nutritional risk (LNR, n = 12). Ten HNR patients were randomized to central parenteral nutrition (CPN) and nine HNR patients were randomized to peripheral parenteral nutrition (PPN) plus enteral nutrition (EN) for 4 weeks of initial intense treatment and EN (nutritional counseling, oral foods and supplements) thereafter. Thirteen HNR patients (seven CPN, six PPN) completed the protocol. Twelve LNR patients received EN; 11 Stage I malnourished patients were randomized to 10 or 26 weeks of chemotherapy. Dietary, anthropometric, and biochemical data were determined for HNR patients at weeks 0-4, 6, 13, 19, and 26 and for LNR patients at weeks 1, 2, 5, and 26. In HNR patients, adequate parenteral nutrition support reversed protein energy malnutrition (PEM), and prevented chemotherapy and radiotherapy delays due to granulocytopenia. CPN was superior to PPN in reversing PEM: energy intake, weight gain, and retinol binding protein were higher (P less than 0.05). LNR patients lost weight and fat reserves in the first 2 weeks of treatment; depletion persisted at week 5, and 25% had chemotherapy delays. Thereafter, EN reversed PEM in patients with both chemotherapy regimens. These data suggest that CPN is preferable during initial intense treatment for HNR patients, and that, although EN is ineffective in preventing depletion and treatment delays in the first 5 weeks of treatment for LNR patients, it is effective thereafter.

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