Body composition of children with cancer during treatment and in survivorship

Murphy, Alexia J, White, Melinda, Elliott, Sarah A., Lockwood, Liane, Hallahan, Andrew and Davies, Peter S.W. (2015) Body composition of children with cancer during treatment and in survivorship. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 102 4: 891-896. doi:10.3945/ajcn.114.099697

Author Murphy, Alexia J
White, Melinda
Elliott, Sarah A.
Lockwood, Liane
Hallahan, Andrew
Davies, Peter S.W.
Title Body composition of children with cancer during treatment and in survivorship
Journal name American Journal of Clinical Nutrition   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1938-3207
Publication date 2015-10-01
Year available 2015
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.3945/ajcn.114.099697
Open Access Status Not Open Access
Volume 102
Issue 4
Start page 891
End page 896
Total pages 6
Place of publication Bethesda, Maryland, United States
Publisher American Society for Nutrition
Collection year 2016
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Background: Malnutrition as assessed with the use of body-composition measurements is a poorly understood short- and long-term complication of childhood cancer.

Objectives: We aimed to evaluate the body composition of 2 childhood cancer cohorts as follows: 1) children currently undergoing cancer treatment and 2) childhood cancer survivors. We also aimed to compare the prevalence of obesity and undernutrition between the cancer groups and investigate the impact of cancer type on body composition.

Design: Eighty-two children during the treatment of cancer and 53 childhood cancer survivors were involved in the study. Height, weight, body cell mass, percentage of fat, fat mass index, and fat-free mass index were assessed. Subjects were compared with age- and sex-matched healthy controls.

Results: The on-treatment group had a higher percentage of fat (P = 0.0001) and fat mass index (P = 0.0001) and a significantly lower body cell mass index (P = 0.0001) and fat-free mass index (P = 0.003) than did matched controls. The survivor group had a significantly higher percentage of fat (P = 0.03) and fat mass index (P = 0.04) and significantly lower body cell mass index (P = 0.0001) than did matched controls. The prevalence of undernutrition was high in both groups with 48% (95% CI: 36%, 60%) of the on-treatment group and 53% (95% CI: 40%, 66%) of the survivors considered undernourished. According to the percentage of fat cutoffs, significantly more on-treatment patients were obese (55%; 95% CI: 40%, 60%) than were survivors (26%; 95% CI: 14%, 38%) (P = 0.005). There were no statistically significant differences in body composition between cancer types in either the on-treatment or the survivor group.

Conclusions: Overnutrition and undernutrition are major concerns in the short and long term for children with cancer. Children treated for cancer have increased fat mass and decreased body cell mass, which are evident during treatment and in survivorship.
Keyword Body composition
Childhood cancer survivor
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2016 Collection
School of Medicine Publications
Child Health Research Centre Publications
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