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The Effect of Special Diets on Weight and Nutritional Intake in Hematological Cancer Patients: A Randomized Study

Bille, Sanne J., Fjalstad, Benedicte W., Clausen, Mette B., Andreasen, Bent J., Andersen, Jens Rikardt
Nutrition and cancer 2018 v.70 no.6 pp. 874-878
cross-over studies, drug therapy, neoplasms, patients, special diets, taste, umami, weight loss
Major weight loss and taste changes are well documented in patients with hematological cancer during chemotherapy. We have previously documented, that such patients have preferences for much umami, a little sweet, sour and salt, and no bitter. We wanted to convert these results into real diets. Patients participated in two sensory pilot studies (n = 10), where dishes were tested for preferences before and after chemotherapy. From these results, four dishes were selected and tested on 32 patients in 30 days in a cross-over design. The diets resulted in a beneficial and statistically significant difference in weight development (p = 0.0008), with 1.2 ± 1.9 kg (+2%) in the intervention period and –2.8 ± 5.2 kg (–4%) in the control period. This difference persisted after sensitivity analysis (±10%) P = 0.005. However, the nutritional intake was still low in both periods, and the treatment with cytarabine turned out to be a major confounder as dosage was significantly higher in the control period.