Chemotherapy is used to treat a range of medical conditions, but it is mostly associated in popular perception with the treatment of cancer. Unfortunately, the benefits of chemotherapy treatments can be offset with severe side effects in some patients. However, new research has found that measuring patients’ muscle composition before treatment can help predict which patients are vulnerable to experiencing side effects so treatments can be customized to avoid potential problems.
Developed at the University of North Carolina’s Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, a new tool is available to doctors that can help identify which patients are more likely to suffer toxic side effects stemming from chemotherapy. The tool was developed after UNC researchers discovered that patients with low measures of muscle quality and quantity experienced serious side effects more often than patients with higher measures of muscle quality and quantity.
Previously, clinical practitioners used measurements based on body surface area to determine chemotherapy doses, but this approach did not help predict the development of toxicity related to treatment. The new research findings suggest that body composition, as opposed to surface area, is a more accurate predictor of potential side effects.
For the data, researchers review 151 patients’ medical data. Of these, 50 patients, or approximately one-third, had serious side effects from their chemotherapy treatments. The serious side effects included nausea or vomiting, blood cell depletion, and nerve damage in the extremities, all of which lead to hospitalization.
The patients suffering from side effects had low muscle quality/quantity after their measurements were adjusted for age and body surface area. After comparing a range of predictive measures, the muscle composition measures were found to be the most accurate in foreseeing complications.
Increasing the accuracy of predicting side effects from chemotherapy can aid doctors in developing a chemotherapy dosing plan which can minimize the potential for problems. By reducing the risks of treatment, doctors can then retain the benefits and effectiveness of chemotherapy.
Keep Your Diet Nutritious During Chemotherapy with MiraBurst
The findings from the research above underline the importance of being in the best health possible before and during chemotherapy treatment. Unfortunately, some patients undergoing chemotherapy experience taste disturbances, commonly referred to as “metal mouth,” which can negatively impact their ability to eat a nutritious diet during treatment. But there is some help available. Miracle berries have been found to mask the taste of metal mouth in up to 50% of test subjects, allowing them to eat a balanced diet. If you or anyone you know are experiencing metal mouth, try MiraBurst Miracle Berry Tablets to enjoy eating foods again.