The purpose of this study was to determine the influence of weight loss on outcome in patients with head and neck cancer undergoing concomitant chemoradiotherapy (CCRT): treatment interruption, infections, mortality, and hospital readmission rate.
Forty patients with head and neck cancer were enrolled. All patients were counseled to follow a nutritional program during CCRT. Body weight was evaluated at baseline, at the end, and 30 days after radiochemotherapy.
Ninety percent of compliant patients with nutritional program maintained body weight (mean, 1 ± 2.4 kg) and 100% of noncompliant patients continued to lose weight (mean, −9 ± 4 kg; p < .001). A reduction greater than 20% of prediagnosis weight significantly correlated with treatment interruption (p = .003), infections (p = .002), early mortality (p = .011), hospital readmission rate (p = .001), and survival (log-rank test: z = −2.722, p = .006).
In patients with head and neck cancer undergoing CCRT, the early nutritional management reduces weight loss and improve outcome. © 2007 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Head Neck, 2008