ORAL/ENTERAL NUTRITIONAL SUPPLEMENTATION IN CHILDREN TREATED FOR CANCER IN LOW-MIDDLE-INCOME COUNTRIES IS FEASIBLE AND EFFECTIVE: THE EXPERIENCE OF THE CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL MANUEL DE JESUS RIVERA "LA MASCOTA" IN NICARAGUA.

Nicolò Peccatori, Roberta Ortiz, Emanuela Rossi, Patricia Calderon, Valentino Conter, Yesly Garcia, Andrea Biondi, Darrel Espinoza, Francesco Ceppi, Luvy Mendieta, Maria Luisa Melzi
  • Nicolò Peccatori
    University Milano-Bicocca, Italy
  • Roberta Ortiz
    Affiliation not present
  • Emanuela Rossi
    Affiliation not present
  • Patricia Calderon
    Affiliation not present
  • Yesly Garcia
    Affiliation not present
  • Andrea Biondi
    Affiliation not present
  • Darrel Espinoza
    Affiliation not present
  • Francesco Ceppi
    Affiliation not present
  • Luvy Mendieta
    Affiliation not present
  • Maria Luisa Melzi
    Affiliation not present

Abstract

Background and objectives. The prevalence of malnutrition in children diagnosed with malignant tumors in Nicaragua has been reported to be 67%. Thus, a nutritional program for children with cancer has been developed at the Children’s Hospital Manuel de Jesus Rivera (Managua, Nicaragua).

Methods. A qualified nutritionist evaluated all patients and prescribed oral/enteral supplementation. The nutritional assessment was based on weight, height or length, mid upper arm circumference (MUAC) and triceps skin fold thickness (TSFT). In this descriptive study, pre and post-nutritional intervention data were compared and analyzed in terms of event free survival.

Results. 104 patients (median age 7.0 years, 52 with leukemia/lymphoma and 52 with solid tumor) underwent oral/enteral nutritional supplementation; 64 of these patients had pre and post supplementation nutritional assessment. Overall, 55% of patients in the leukemia/lymphoma group and the 35% in the solid tumor group improved their condition or remained in an adequately nourished status.

Conclusion. This experience demonstrates that nutritional supplementation in pediatric cancer patients who are inadequately nourished is feasible also in countries with limited resources and is effective in improving the nutritional conditions.

Keywords

Childhood cancer, nutrition, low-middle-income countries

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