Clinical Determinants of Weight Loss in Patients with Esophageal Carcinoma During Radiotherapy: a Prospective Longitudinal View

  • Jiang, Nan (School of Nursing, Tianjin Medical University) ;
  • Zhao, Jin-Zhi (School of Nursing, Tianjin Medical University) ;
  • Chen, Xiao-Cen (Department of Radiotherapy, Tianjin Medical University Cancer Hospital) ;
  • Li, Li-Ya (School of Nursing, Tianjin Medical University) ;
  • Zhang, Li-Juan (School of Nursing, Tianjin Medical University) ;
  • Zhao, Yue (School of Nursing, Tianjin Medical University)
  • Published : 2014.03.01


Purpose: The prevalence of weight loss in esophageal carcinoma patients is high and associated with impairment of physical function, increased psychological distress and low quality of life. It is not known which factors may contribute to weight loss in patients with esophageal carcinoma during radiotherapy in China. The objective of this study was to identify the associated demographic and clinical factors influencing weight loss. Methods: We evaluated 159 esophageal carcinoma patients between August 2010 and August 2013 in a crosssectional, descriptive study. Patient characteristics, tumor and treatment details, psychological status, adverse effects, and dietary intake were evaluated at baseline and during radiotherapy. A multivariate logistic regression analyss was performed to identify the potential factors leading to weight loss. Results: 64 (40.3%) patients had weight loss ${\geq}5%$ during radiotherapy. According to logistic regression analysis, depression, esophagitis, and loss of appetite were adverse factors linked to weight loss. Dietary counseling, early stage disease and total energy intake ${\geq}1441.3$ (kcal/d) were protective factors. Conclusions It was found that dietary counseling, TNM stage, total energy intake, depression, esophagitis, and loss of appetite were the most important factors for weight loss. The results underline the importance of maintaining energy intake and providing dietary advice in EC patients during RT. At the same time, by identifying associated factors, medical staff can provide appropriate medical care to reduce weight loss. Further studies should determine the effect of these factors on weight loss and propose a predictive model.


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