Clinical trial: efficacy of a low or modified fat diet for the prevention of gastrointestinal toxicity in patients receiving radiotherapy treatment for pelvic malignancies

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Abstract:



How to cite this article: Wedlake L.J., McGough C., Shaw C., Klopper T., Thomas K., Lalji A., Dearnaley D.P., Blake P., Tait D., Khoo V.S. & Andreyev H.J.N. (2012) Clinical trial: efficacy of a low or modified fat diet for the prevention of gastrointestinal toxicity in patients receiving radiotherapy treatment for pelvic malignancies. J Hum Nutr Diet. 25, 247–259
Abstract

Background:  Inflammatory responses to pelvic radiotherapy can result in severe changes to normal gastrointestinal function with potentially severe long‐term effects. Reduced or modified fat diets may confer benefit.

Methods:  This randomised controlled trial recruited patients with gynaecological, urological or lower gastrointestinal malignancy due to receive radical radiotherapy. Patients were randomised to a low fat (20% total energy from long chain triglycerides), modified fat (20% from long chain triglycerides and 20% from medium chain triglycerides) or normal fat diet (40% total energy from long chain triglycerides). The primary outcome was a difference in change in Inflammatory Bowel Disease Questionnaire – Bowel (IBDQ‐B) score, from the start to end of radiotherapy.

Results:  A total of 117 patients with pelvic tumours (48% urological; 32% gastrointestinal; 20% gynaecological), with mean (SD) age: 65 (11.0) years, male : female ratio: 79 : 38, were randomised. The mean (SE) fall in paired IBDQ‐B score was −7.3 (0.9) points, indicating a worsening toxicity. Differences between groups were not significant: P = 0.914 (low versus modified fat), P = 0.793 (low versus normal fat) and P = 0.890 (modified versus normal fat). The difference in fat intake between low and normal fat groups was 29.5 g [1109 kJ (265 kcal)] amounting to 11% (of total energy intake) compared to the planned 20% differential. Full compliance with fat prescription was only 9% in the normal fat group compared to 93% in the low fat group.

Conclusions:  A low or modified fat diet during pelvic radiotherapy did not improve gastrointestinal symptom scores compared to a normal fat intake. An inadequate differential in fat intake between the groups may have confounded the results.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-277X.2012.01248.x

Affiliations: 1: Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK 2: Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, Royal Surrey County Hospital, Surrey, UK 3: Department of Computing, The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK 4: Department of GI Unit, The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK 5: Department of Gynaecology, The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK 6: Department of Urology, The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK

Publication date: June 1, 2012

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