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Support Care Cancer. 2011 Nov;19(11):1729-34. doi: 10.1007/s00520-010-1011-x. Epub 2010 Oct 22.

Nutritional status of patients with locally advanced pancreatic cancer: a pilot study.

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Yale University School of Nursing, New Haven, CT, USA.



Nutritional status may influence quality of life and prognosis among pancreatic cancer patients, yet few studies describe measures of nutritional status during treatment. We evaluated the nutritional status of locally advanced pancreatic cancer (LAPC) patients undergoing chemoradiotherapy who received baseline nutritional assessment and counseling.


Fourteen newly diagnosed LAPC patients enrolled in phase I/II trials of capecitabine with concomitant radiotherapy were assessed for baseline clinical nutrition measures (body mass index, albumin, weight loss, total energy, and protein intake). Participants completed the Anorexia/Cachexia Subscale (A/CS) questionnaire at baseline and during the 6 weeks of treatment. We evaluated associations between baseline characteristics and subsequent A/CS scores with linear regression and changes in A/CS were assessed with the paired t test.


We observed a statistically significant increase in mean A/CS between baseline [24.9, standard deviation (SD) = 9.7] and end of treatment (29.9, SD = 6.2). Controlling for baseline A/CS score, only weight loss greater than 5% of body weight over 1 month was associated with A/CS scores at 6 weeks (β = 10.558, standard error = 3.307, p value = 0.009) and mean A/CS scores during the last 3 weeks of treatment (β = 12.739, standard error = 2.251, p value = 0.001).


After 6 weeks of chemoradiotherapy, LAPC patients reported a statistically significant improvement in appetite and weight concerns. Increases in AC/S scores were associated with higher baseline A/CS scores and weight loss of 5% or more during 1 month. Further research is needed to determine the impact of nutritional support during treatment, as improvements in this domain may impact LAPC patients' overall quality of life.

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