Weight stabilisation is associated with improved survival duration and quality of life in unresectable pancreatic cancer

Clin Nutr. 2004 Apr;23(2):239-47. doi: 10.1016/j.clnu.2003.07.001.


Background & aims: Cancer-induced weight loss is associated with poor outcomes and is common in pancreatic cancer. The aims were to determine whether stabilising weight loss for patients with unresectable pancreatic cancer was associated with improved survival and quality of life (QoL) and to identify determinants of weight stabilisation.

Methods: A post hoc analysis was performed using data from 107 patients in a multicentre trial. Patients were categorised as weight losing (> 1 kg lost) or weight stable (< or = 1 kg lost) after an 8 week nutrition intervention period. Group survival duration (Kaplan Meier) and QoL (EORTC QLQ-C30) were compared. Predictors of weight stability were determined using logistic regression analysis.

Results: Patients with weight stabilisation survived longer from baseline (log rank test 5.53, P = 0.019). They also reported higher QoL scores (P = 0.037) and a greater mean energy intake (P <0.001) at Week 8 than those who continued to lose weight. The absence of nausea and vomiting (OR 6.5, P =0.010) and female gender (OR 5.2, P = 0.020) were independent determinants of weight stabilisation.

Conclusions: Weight stabilisation over an 8 week period in weight-losing patients with unresectable pancreatic cancer was associated with improved survival duration and QoL.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Body Weight*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Energy Intake
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / mortality*
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Quality of Life*
  • Survival Rate
  • Weight Loss