The nutritional status of mesothelioma patients could impact their treatment outcomes.
That is the conclusion of a new Chinese study. The study focused on patients with peritoneal mesothelioma. Peritoneal mesothelioma is a cancer that grows on the abdominal lining. About a fifth of mesothelioma patients have this type.
Researchers at Cangzhou Central Hospital measured the nutritional status of mesothelioma patients with a tool called the Controlling Nutritional Status (CONUT) score.
When they compared the scores with patients’ survival rates, they found that those with worse scores did not live as long.
Measuring Nutritional Status of Mesothelioma Patients with CONUT
CONUT is a computer-based tool. It calculates the nutritional status of mesothelioma patients based on laboratory information.
Lab values considered by CONUT include serum albumin, total cholesterol, and total lymphocyte count.
The goal is to get a snapshot of how well a patient’s cells – including immune system cells – are being nourished. The theory is that healthy cells are more likely to be able to fight off cancer.
LDH Improves CONUT’s Prognosis Value
The new study goes a step further than just the nutritional status of mesothelioma patients. The Chinese team also measured a second factor called lactate dehydrogenase (LDH).
LDH is an enzyme found in most cells. When cells are damaged by peritoneal mesothelioma, LDH is released. It can collect in the abdominal fluid (ascites) that tends to build up in people with peritoneal mesothelioma.
When researchers measured LDH in the abdomen, they found that it was also a powerful predictor of mesothelioma prognosis.
Poor Nutritional Status of Mesothelioma Patients = Poor Prognosis
There are many factors that contribute to mesothelioma prognosis. Younger patients, women, and those who are otherwise healthy tend to have the best treatment responses.
The Chinese team took all of these into account when they looked at the importance of nutritional status of mesothelioma patients.
They found that the CONUT score and LDH levels can still stand alone as independent prognostic factors.
“CONUT score and ascites LDH are important factors influencing the prognosis of MPeM patients and should thus be considered in clinical applications,” writes lead researcher Qing-Qing Wang.
Mesothelioma patients can support their bodies during treatment with lots of fruit, vegetables, and lean proteins.
The study was published in the journal Nutrition and Cancer.
Wang, Q, et al, “Pretreatment Controlling Nutritional Status Score and Lactate Dehydrogenase as Predictive Markers of Survival in Patients with Malignant Peritoneal Mesothelioma”, January 20, 2019, Nutrition and Cancer, https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/01635581.2018.1560481?journalCode=hnuc20
Takamori, S, et al, “The Controlling Nutritional Status Score is a Significant Independent Predictor of Poor Prognosis in Patients with Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma”, July 2017, Clinical Lung Cancer, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28274690