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Updated evidence-based practice guidelines for the nutritional management of patients receiving radiation therapy and/or chemotherapy

journal contribution
posted on 2013-12-01, 00:00 authored by E Isenring, R Zabel, M Bannister, T Brown, M Findlay, Nicole KissNicole Kiss, J Loeliger, C Johnstone, B Camilleri, W Davidson, J Hill, J Bauer
Aims: The aim of this paper was to update the evidence-based practice guidelines for the nutritional management of patients receiving radiation therapy and broaden the scope to include chemotherapy. Methods: The following databases were searched using a range of keywords: Cochrane Database, CENTRAL, MEDLINE (via Ebscohost), EMBASE, CINAHL (Ebscohost), Web of Science, Health Source: Nursing/Academic Edition and PubMed. Relevant papers (n = 47) were reviewed by at least two members of the steering committee and assigned a level of evidence and a quality rating. Results: There were no new published randomised controlled trials (RCTs) of nutrition intervention in radiation therapy. Most statements in the previous radiation therapy guidelines have strong evidence supporting nutrition intervention. There were 12 studies in chemotherapy including five RCTs. While these studies provided strong evidence that simple nutrition intervention improves nutritional outcomes such as dietary intake and weight, they did not find an improvement in quality of life or survival. Several RCTs found no benefits of nutrition support in patients undergoing chemotherapy. None of the RCTs in chemotherapy used medical nutrition therapy (MNT) as the intervention, but rather simple dietary advice and/or supplements. Conclusions: The evidence to support nutrition intervention in patients receiving radiation therapy remains strong. However, the benefits of nutrition intervention in chemotherapy are less clear. Further studies are required to evaluate the impact of MNT as opposed to simple dietary advice in chemotherapy patients. This update contributes to a move towards comprehensive evidence-based guidelines for the nutritional management of patients with cancer. © 2013 Dietitians Association of Australia.



Nutrition and Dietetics






312 - 324


Wiley-Blackwell Publishing


Chichester, Eng.







Publication classification

C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal; C Journal article

Copyright notice

2013, The Authors Nutrition & Dietetics and 2013, Dietitians Association of Australia