Faculty of Medicine, Obstetrics and Gynecology Nursing Department, Chiang Mai University, Chiang Mai 50200, Thailand
Egg white intake during chemotherapy is common advice for cancer patients for the prevention of leukopenia. However, the benefit is uncertain. We conducted this prospective study to identify the relationship of egg white intake for gynecologic cancer patients who received carboplatin and paclitaxel and the occurrence of leukopenia. Between January 2014 and January, 2015, 81 patients were interviewed regarding their intake of egg whites before receiving subsequent chemotherapy. The basic data, the details of egg white intake and the grade of leukopenia in the previous cycle were recorded. The mean age was 54.1 years and 80% of the patients had a diagnosis of ovarian or endometrial cancer. The patients were interviewed at cycles 1-3 in 45 cases, 4-6 in 45 cases and 7-9 in two cases. Subsequent dose reduction was found in 6.2% and granulocyte-stimulating growth factors was given at 4.9%. All the patients ate egg whites with variations in the number of eggs per day as follows: less than one (3), one to two (56), three to four (14) and five to six (8). Over 70% were recommended by nurses to eat egg whites and about 63% of patients received other supplemental food. Some 44.1% of the patients who ate less than or equal to two eggs per day and 36.4% who ate more than two eggs per day developed grade 2-4 leukopenia, P = 0.61. In conclusion, the data did not provide evidence in support of the conclusion that a greater egg white intake could significantly reduce the occurrence of leukopenia.