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


Purpose: The prevalence of weight loss in esophageal carcinoma patients is high and associated withimpairment of physical function, increased psychological distress and low quality of life. It is not known whichfactors may contribute to weight loss in patients with esophageal carcinoma during radiotherapy in China. Theobjective 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, adverseeffects, and dietary intake were evaluated at baseline and during radiotherapy. A multivariate logistic regressionanalyss was performed to identify the potential factors leading to weight loss.
Results: 64 (40.3%) patients hadweight loss ≥5% during radiotherapy. According to logistic regression analysis, depression, esophagitis, and lossof appetite were adverse factors linked to weight loss. Dietary counseling, early stage disease and total energyintake ≥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 patientsduring RT. At the same time, by identifying associated factors, medical staff can provide appropriate medicalcare to reduce weight loss. Further studies should determine the effect of these factors on weight loss and proposea predictive model.