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Many cancer patients lose weight (body muscle and fat) as part of a cachexia syndrome, which can be caused by the cancer and its treatment. This can result in muscle weakness, fatigue, lack of energy and a reduced quality of life. Exercise is one possible treatment for cancer cachexia and may help reduce the effect it has on patients. In this systematic review, we searched major databases, conference reports and contacted experts in this field to identify studies of exercise in groups of patients with cancer cachexia. Our extensive literature search up to June 2014 found no studies that could be included. We therefore found no evidence from randomised controlled trials available in the literature to determine the effect of exercise in cancer cachexia. More research is needed. There are ongoing studies on the topic, so we will update this review to incorporate the findings.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: November 26, 2014

Formula milk may contain more nutrients than maternal breast milk but it lacks the antibodies and other substances present in breast milk that protect and develop the immature gut of preterm or low birth weight infants. No trials that compared feeding with formula milk rather than their own mother's breast milk were identified. However, since another Cochrane review has found that feeding with formula compared to donor breast milk increases the risk of serious gut problems in preterm or low birth weight infants, it is unlikely that a such a trial would be acceptable to mothers and caregivers.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: October 17, 2007

Diethylstilbestrol during pregnancy poses serious long‐term risks for those exposed in the womb and offers no known benefit for mothers and children.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: July 21, 2003

Respiratory and long‐term neurosensory outcomes are common morbidities among extremely low birth weight (ELBW),(birth weight less than 1000 g) survivors. Patent ductus arteriosus (PDA), a connection between vessels of the heart, is one of the known causes of respiratory morbidity. Indomethacin (a drug given early to close PDA) prophylaxis studies fail to show an improvement in the incidence of respiratory and long‐term outcomes, although there is a 50% reduction in the incidence of PDA. The addition of fluid restriction to indomethacin therapy might prove helpful. However, our review found no studies to answer this question.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: July 6, 2011

Donor expressed milk processed by human milk banks has been used to provide preterm infants with breast milk when there are circumstances that preclude the use of mother's own milk. Preterm milk differs significantly from term breast milk. We were unable to identify any studies that compared donor preterm milk with donor term milk to promote growth and development in very low birth weight infants.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: June 16, 2010

Plain language summary will be included with future update.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: January 21, 2002

Low birth weight babies have a higher chance or survival if they are kept warm. The right conditions can be made by placing the baby in an incubator. The air can be heated to a desired temperature, or radiant heat lamps inside the incubator can adjust to the baby’s body temperature (servo‐control). The review of trials found that keeping a baby’s skin temperature at 36C degrees by servo‐control reduces the newborn death rate in low birth weight babies rather than setting a constant incubator temperature of 31.8C. More research is needed.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: January 21, 2002

Background: Glutamine is an important nutrient for growth and development and may be especially important in protecting preterm infants from infections and gut problems that cause death and disability. We sought evidence that giving preterm infants extra glutamine improves important outcomes.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: April 18, 2016

Higher doses of selenium supplements may be able to reduce some complications for preterm babies, but more research is needed. Selenium is an essential trace element gained from nutrients. Babies are born with lower selenium concentrations in their blood than their mothers. In very preterm babies, low selenium is associated with an increased risk of complications. The review of trials of selenium supplementation for preterm babies found that it reduces sepsis (blood infection). It has not been shown to reduce other complications or increase survival. No adverse effects were reported. Higher than usual levels of selenium supplementation may be beneficial, but more research is needed as most of the evidence comes from a country where selenium levels were unusually low.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: October 20, 2003

Gastro‐oesophageal reflux is the passage of the contents of the stomach into the oesophagus (feeding tube) with or without vomiting. It is relatively common in preterm infants and can sometimes lead to troublesome complications. Non‐nutritive sucking is sucking on a dummy (pacifier) before, during, or after feeding by tube; before or after a bottle/breast feed; or outside of feeding times. It has been proposed as a way to reduce gastro‐oesophageal disease in preterm infants.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: October 15, 2014

Programs offering additional support during pregnancy were not effective in reducing number of babies born too early and babies with low birthweights.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: June 16, 2010

Background: Preterm babies are at increased risk of feeding intolerance. Factors that contribute to feeding intolerance are many and include immature motility of the gut and increased viscosity of meconium. Enhancement of passage of the first stool (meconium) might enhance the ability of the preterm infant to tolerate feeds and might help reduce time spent receiving intravenous fluids.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: September 30, 2015

Rotavirus infection can cause significant problems including diarrhea in the newborn. This is particularly true in babies weighing less than 2500 g (low birth weight infants). Rotavirus infection is becoming more common in newborn babies and can spread from one baby to another in the neonatal unit. Administration of antibodies against rotavirus to babies may be one of the methods to treat this infection and to prevent the spread of infection in the neonatal unit. In this review, we did not identify any trial that used antibodies to treat rotavirus infection. More research is needed to address these issues.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: October 5, 2011

Patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) occurs when an artery near the heart and lungs, which should close off soon after birth, stays open. Babies born preterm (premature) who have a PDA are at higher risk of severe illness and death. Indomethacin, a drug more commonly used for muscle and bone pain in adults, when given to preterm infants can help close a PDA. This review found evidence that giving all preterm infants (especially very preterm infants) indomethacin on the first day after birth reduced their risk of developing a PDA and the complications associated with PDA (including brain damage due to bleeding into the brain). However, despite these short term effects, the trials found evidence that indomethacin does not increase survival or reduce disability in the longer term.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: July 7, 2010

Rotavirus infection can cause significant problems including diarrhea in the newborn. This is particularly true in babies weighing less than 2500 g (low birthweight infants). Rotavirus infection is becoming more common in newborn babies and can spread from one baby to another in the neonatal unit. Administration of antibodies against rotavirus to babies may prevent this infection and its spread in the neonatal unit. In this review, only one small trial was identified. Currently, there is not enough evidence to recommend the use of antibodies against rotavirus to babies exposed to rotavirus infection. More research is needed.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: November 9, 2011

Not enough evidence to show the benefits or adverse effects of early oxygen weaning in preterm or low birthweight babies. Babies born either prematurely (before 37 weeks) or with a low birthweight often have breathing problems and need extra oxygen. Oxygen supplementation has provided many benefits for these babies and the ability to measure oxygen levels accurately can help reduce adverse effects. The correct time to wean babies off oxygen supplementation has been unclear but is usually measured by their age, weight gain and breathing ability. The review did not find enough evidence from trials to show the benefits or adverse effects of early oxygen weaning in preterm or low birth weight babies. More research is needed.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: October 23, 2001

Retinopathy of prematurity (a common retinal neovascular disorder of premature infants) is a leading cause of childhood blindness worldwide. The cause of advanced retinopathy of prematurity and the way the disease develops are not fully understood. In the past many factors, such as the use of supplemental oxygen, excessive light exposure and hypoxia (lack of oxygen), have been suggested as possible causes. Light exposure has been investigated because experimental studies have demonstrated that intensive lighting can result in irreversible damage to the retina. However, the clinical studies conducted to date have shown conflicting results in terms of the effects of light in the development of the disease. Furthermore, studies have concluded that reduction of light exposure does not reduce the progression of retinopathy of prematurity.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: August 6, 2013

Prematurely born infants are at risk of bleeding into the brain in the first few weeks of life. This is called intraventricular haemorrhage. The risk of this occurring is greatest to infants who are born less than 32 weeks gestation. Many potential therapies have been studied to determine if they might reduce the risk of this bleeding. One such therapy is a drug called Ethamsylate. It is not exactly known how this drug works, but it appears to reduce bleeding in other clinical situations, such as excessive menstrual bleeding and after some types of surgery.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: January 20, 2010

There is no evidence to support the use of prophylactic surgical ligation of the patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) in the management of the preterm infants.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: January 23, 2008

In utero, infants are exposed to physical stimulation. This raises the question whether gentle physical massage helps babies born before 37 weeks gestation or weighing less than 2500 grams (5.5 pounds) to develop after birth, and if it can improve their behaviour. The review only included randomized controlled trials, studies in which a group of babies received massage and was compared with a similar group which did not. The authors searched the medical literature and contacted experts and found 14 studies. In most of these studies babies were rubbed or stroked for about 15 minutes, three or four times a day, usually for five or ten days. Some studies also included "still, gentle touch", in which nurses put their hands on babies but did not rub or stroke them. On average, the studies found that when compared to babies who were not touched, babies receiving massage, but not "still, gentle touch", gained more weight each day (about 5 grams). They spent less time in hospital, had slightly better scores on developmental tests and had slightly fewer postnatal complications, although there were problems with how reliable these findings are. The studies did not show any negative effects of massage. Massage is time consuming for nurses to provide, but parents can perform massage without extensive training.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: April 19, 2004

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