Longitudinal assessment of nutritional risk in patients under chemo or radiotherapy

Avaliação longitudinal do risco nutricional em pacientes sob quimio ou radioterapia

Isabelle Mastelaro Mariana Pietrobom Pupin Sofia Miranda de Figueiredo Ribeiro Harley Francisco de Oliveira Fernanda Maris Peria Selma Freire de Carvalho da Cunha About the authors



To compare nutritional risk in adult patients undergoing chemotherapy and radiotherapy in the beginning, middle, and end of oncologic treatment.


This prospective, comparative study included 83 adult patients, 44 undergoing chemotherapy (CT group) and 39 undergoing radiotherapy (RT group) at an oncology treatment center. Nutritional risk was determined by NRS-2002 in the beginning, middle, and end of therapy. Statistical analysis was performed using Statistica 8.0 software.


No differences in food intake or body mass index were observed between the CT (24.6±4.8 kg/m²) and RT groups (25.0±5.9 kg/m², p=0.75). Weight loss in the preceding 3 months was detected in 56.8% of CT group and 38.5% of RT group (p=0.09). The weight loss percentage compared with the usual weight within 3 months was greater (p<0.001) in the CT (11.4±6.5%) than in the RT group (3.9±6.8%). In the beginning of treatment, we observed high percentages of patients at moderate (18.2 vs. 15.4%, p=0.73) and high nutritional risk (61.4 vs. 48.7%, p=0.25), with no statistical difference between the CT and RT groups, respectively. During therapy, the nutritional risk remained unaltered in both groups. In the end of therapy, the majority of patients were at moderate (18.2 vs. 12.8%, p=0.50) or severe nutritional risk (50.0 vs. 51.3%, p=0.91), in the CT and RT groups, respectively, regardless of the type of oncologic treatment.


The high prevalence of patients at moderate or high nutritional risk in the beginning of treatment indicates the need for an early and continuous follow-up of the nutritional status of patients undergoing oncologic treatment.

chemotherapy; radiotherapy; nutritional assessment; neoplasms; malnutrition; nutritional status

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