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Journal of Thoracic Oncology ; 17(9):S24, 2022.
Article in English | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-2031502


Introduction: Unintentional weight loss is common in lung cancer, with 40-60% of patients presenting with this at diagnosis. Weight loss and depleted nutritional status have been identified as negative prognostic variables for survival and directly impact the effectiveness of cancer treatments. The Lung Oncology team at the University Hospital Southampton (UHS) received external funding from Bionical Solutions and AstraZeneca for a part time oncology Dietitian to join the team in treating this patient group. The aim was to determine if specialist Dietitian input improves patients’ nutritional outcomes in those diagnosed with Stage III Non-Small Cell Lung Carcinomas (NSCLC) undergoing radical treatment. Methods: Over 12 months (February 2021-February 2022) all patients with stage III NSCLC received specialist Dietitian input during their radiotherapy treatment. Non-patient identifiable data was collected, which included;whether patients were enterally fed, admission rates and reason, and their weights at the start, middle, end and 2 weeks post radiotherapy. This data was compared to previously collected data in 2018 with the same patient group. No ethical approval was required. Results: A total of 50 patient data sets and 11 feedback questionnaires were collected over 11 months. Between the start and end of radiotherapy, patients experienced;2.1% overall average weight loss, 64% experienced <3.0% unintentional weight loss and 0% experienced >9.6% unintentional weight loss. In 2021 patients reached their lowest weight earlier at 70% of their way through radiotherapy compared with 86% in 2018. Patients maximum unintentional weight loss was 3.2% in 2021 compared with 4.4% in 2018. This is likely due to closer monitoring and dietitian input in 2021. Admission rates were higher in 2021 (n=13, 26%) compared to 2018 (n=5, 18.5%). However, this may be due to changes to patients’ radiotherapy treatment plans in 2021 due to the covid pandemic, resulting in more intense treatments. Patients requiring nasogastric (NGT) feeding increased from 0 in 2018 to 6 in 2021. This is likely due to increased awareness of the importance of nutritional support attributable to dietetic involvement in the multidisciplinary team. All patients who completed the feedback questionnaire found dietetic consultations useful and were able to follow most, or all dietary advice. 91% felt well supported during their treatment with dietetic input. Final Outcomes: Patients experienced reduced weight loss during treatment with Dietitian input compared to 2018 data where there was minimal dietetic input. Increased number of patients required NGTs compared to 2018, therefore Dietitian input is required in this area of oncology. Most patients felt well supported receiving dietetic input during treatment. Increased admission rates compared to 2018, however more nutrition support related admissions in 2021. Conclusions: Overall, patients lost less weight during treatment with Dietitian involvement in their care which is a positive factor in the prognostic outcomes. In addition, most patients felt seeing a Dietitian during treatment improved their experience and felt well supported. The final outcomes support the British Dietetic Associations’ recommendation that there is a dedicated dietetic service for lung cancer patients’, and they are seen by a Dietitian during their treatment. Keywords: Dietitian involvement, Reduced weight loss, Improved patient outcomes