Advertisement

ESMO Breast Cancer 2019: Evidence-Based Educational Nutrition Intervention Among Patients With Early-Stage Breast Cancer

Advertisement

Key Points

  • The dietary intervention that patients received consisted of monthly contacts with the nutritionist. Nutritional assessments were performed at baseline and 6 months after enrollment, and additional follow-ups are still ongoing.
  • The interim analyses showed a statistically significant correlation between high adherence to dietary guidelines and weight loss.
  • Weight loss, in turn, appeared to correlate with lower rates of depression, which was assessed using the EORTC QLQ-C30.

Although tools like the ESPEN guidelines on nutrition for patients with cancer have helped to standardize practices in this area of patient care, scientific evidence on the efficacy of nutritional intervention among patients with breast cancer is still scarce. Preliminary results from a study to be presented at the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) Breast Cancer Congress documented the follow-up of 204 patients with early-stage breast cancer who received dietary guidelines from a nutritionist shortly after their initial diagnosis (Abstract 202P_PR).  

Study author Luisa Carbognin, MD, of the University of Verona, Italy, said, “We designed this prospective clinical trial with two main objectives: to assess [patients with] early breast cancer’s adherence to dietary guidelines, and to evaluate the effectiveness of nutritional intervention for weight loss or weight maintenance while undergoing treatment.”

Study Population

In the studied patient sample, over 60% of women were overweight or obese, and presented dietary patterns high in fat and low in dietary fiber. Moreover, almost half of trial participants had gained 5% or more of their usual bodyweight at the time of cancer diagnosis, and a majority reported suffering from nutritional impact symptoms like constipation or indigestion. Neoadjuvant chemotherapy was prescribed to 56 patients, and 92 women received adjuvant chemotherapy. Overall, about 80% of participants underwent endocrine therapy.

Dietary Intervention Findings

“The dietary intervention that patients received consisted of monthly contacts with the nutritionist. Nutritional assessments were performed at baseline and 6 months after enrollment—additional follow-ups are still ongoing,” Dr. Carbognin reported. “Our interim analyses showed a statistically significant correlation between high adherence to dietary guidelines and weight loss. Weight loss, in turn, appeared to correlate with lower rates of depression, which we assessed using the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaire (EORTC QLQ-C30).”

According to Dr. Carbognin, the small sample size and different treatments administered to participants of the study constitute an obstacle to drawing conclusions from its results. “As [the study] is still ongoing, however, we hope to increase the sample size and eventually perform subgroup analyses to compare the different treatment settings and explore any potential differences between them,” she explained.

Dr. Carbognin further suggested, “These initial results indicate that adhering to dietary guidelines can be an effective tool for controlling body weight. For women with a normal baseline body weight, the goal is to maintain a healthy weight and fitness throughout their course of treatment… it therefore makes sense to offer them support from a nutritionist regardless of their weight at diagnosis.”

Disclosure: For full disclosures of the study authors, visit cslide.ctimeetingtech.com/breast2019.

The content in this post has not been reviewed by the American Society of Clinical Oncology, Inc. (ASCO®) and does not necessarily reflect the ideas and opinions of ASCO®.


Advertisement

Advertisement



Advertisement