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Appetite and dietary intake endpoints in cancer cachexia clinical trials: Systematic Review 2 of the cachexia endpoints series.

👤 Authors: Ola Magne Vagnildhaug, Trude R Balstad, Inger Ottestad, Asta Bye, Christine Greil, Jann Arends, Vickie Baracos, Leo R Brown, Olav F Dajani, Ross D Dolan, Marie Fallon, Eilidh Fraser, Aleksandra Grzyb, Marianne J Hjermstad, Gunnhild Jakobsen, Stein Kaasa, James McDonald, Iain Philips, Judith Sayers, Melanie R Simpson, Mariana S Sousa, Richard J E Skipworth, Barry J A Laird, Tora S Solheim

ABSTRACT:

There is no consensus on the optimal endpoint(s) in cancer cachexia trials. Endpoint variation is an obstacle when comparing interventions and their clinical value.

The aim of this systematic review was to summarize and evaluate endpoints used to assess appetite and dietary intake in cancer cachexia clinical trials. A search for studies published from 1 January 1990 until 2 June 2021 was conducted using MEDLINE, Embase and Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials.

Eligible studies examined cancer cachexia treatment versus a comparator in adults with assessments of appetite and/or dietary intake as study endpoints, a sample size ≥40 and an intervention lasting ≥14 days. Reporting was in line with PRISMA guidance, and a protocol was published in PROSPERO (2022 CRD42022276710).

This review is part of a series of systematic reviews examining cachexia endpoints. Of the 5975 articles identified, 116 were eligible for the wider review series and 80 specifically examined endpoints of appetite (65 studies) and/or dietary intake (21 studies).

Six trials assessed both appetite and dietary intake. Appetite was the primary outcome in 15 trials and dietary intake in 7 trials.

Median sample size was 101 patients (range 40-628). Forty-nine studies included multiple primary tumour sites, while 31 studies involved single primary tumour sites (15 gastrointestinal, 7 lung, 7 head and neck and 2 female reproductive organs).

The most frequently reported appetite endpoints were visual analogue scale (VAS) and numerical rating scale (NRS) (40%). The appetite item from the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaire (EORTC QLQ) C30/C15 PAL (38%) and the appetite question from North Central Cancer Treatment Group anorexia questionnaire (17%) were also frequently applied.

Of the studies that assessed dietary intake, 13 (62%) used food records (prospective registrations) and 10 (48%) used retrospective methods (24-h recall or dietary history). For VAS/NRS, a mean change of 1.3 corresponded to Hedge's g of 0.5 and can be considered a moderate change.

For food records, a mean change of 231 kcal/day or 11 g of protein/day corresponded to a moderate change. Choice of endpoint in cachexia trials will depend on factors pertinent to the trial to be conducted.

Nevertheless, from trials assessed and available literature, NRS or EORTC QLQ C30/C15 PAL seems suitable for appetite assessments. Appetite and dietary intake endpoints are rarely used as primary outcomes in cancer cachexia.

Dietary intake assessments were used mainly to monitor compliance and are not validated in cachexia populations. Given the importance to cachexia studies, dietary intake endpoints must be validated before they are used as endpoints in clinical trials.

Jann Arends

Nutrition

University Medical Center Freiburg

Germany

236

ScienceLeadR Reputation
profile photo of Jann Arends

Main topics

Publications Clinical Trials

Body Weight
Food and Beverages
Cachexia
Weight Loss
Nutrition Disorders
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Richard J E Skipworth

Surgery

NHS Lothian

United Kingdom

474

ScienceLeadR Reputation
profile photo of Richard J E Skipworth

Main topics

Publications Clinical Trials

Body Weight
Weight Loss
Cachexia
General Surgery
Specialties, Surgical
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Vickie E Baracos

Nutrition

Cross Cancer Institute

Canada

1250

ScienceLeadR Reputation
profile photo of Vickie E Baracos

Main topics

Publications Clinical Trials

Body Weight
Weight Loss
Public Health
Epidemiologic Methods
Cachexia
View detailed profile

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