Chemotherapy may negatively affect nutritional status and quality of life (QOL) in pancreatic cancer patients. Our aim was to investigate the beneficial effects of oral nutrition supplements (ONS) on pancreatic and bile duct cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. Among patients with progressive pancreatic and bile duct cancer receiving chemotherapy, the ONS group (n = 15) received two packs of ONS daily for 8 weeks while the non-ONS group (n = 19) did not. Anthropometric measures, dietary intake, nutritional status, and quality of life were assessed. ONS significantly increased daily intakes of energy, carbohydrates, proteins, and lipids at 8 weeks compared to the baseline. After 8 weeks, fat mass significantly increased in the ONS group. For patients in their first cycle of chemotherapy, body weight, fat-free mass, skeletal muscle mass, body cell mass, and fat mass increased in the ONS group but decreased in the non-ONS group. Fat mass increased in second or higher cycle only in the ONS group. Patient-generated subjective global assessments (PG-SGA) and fatigue scores in the Quality of Life Questionnaire Core 30 (QLQ-C30) improved in the ONS group. ONS might improve nutritional status by increasing fat mass and/or maintaining the body composition of pancreatic and bile duct cancer patients with chemotherapy, especially those in the first cycle, and alleviate fatigue symptoms.
Keywords: Quality of Life Questionnaire Core 30; chemotherapy; oral nutritional supplement (ONS), nutritional status; pancreatic and bile duct cancer; patient-generated subjective global assessments.