Post-operative Enteral Nutrition In Patients With Epithelial Ovarian Cancer

Malnutrition is common in patients with advanced epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC), and is associated with impaired quality of life (QoL), longer hospital stay and higher risk of treatment-related adverse events. This phase III multi-centre randomised clinical trial tested early enteral feeding versus standard care on postoperative QoL. From 2009 to 2013, 109 patients requiring surgery for suspected advanced EOC, moderately to severely malnourished were enrolled at five sites across Queensland and randomised to intervention (n=53) or control (n=56) groups. Intervention involved intraoperative nasojejunal tube placement and enteral feeding until adequate oral intake could be maintained. Despite being randomised to intervention, 20 patients did not receive feeds (13 did not receive the feeding tube; 7 had it removed early). Control involved postoperative diet as tolerated. QoL was measured at baseline, 6weeks postoperatively and 30days after the third cycle of chemotherapy. The primary outcome measure was the difference in QoL between the intervention and the control group. Secondary endpoints included treatment-related adverse event occurrence, length of stay, postoperative services use, and nutritional status.

It was seen that early enteral feeding did not significantly improve patients' QoL compared to standard of care but may improve nutritional status.