Around 1 in 5 people diagnosed with cancer in the UK take part in a clinical trial.
A trial looking at nutritional supplement drinks for people with bowel cancer who are losing weight (POSiCC)
This trial was done to see if having supplement drinks before surgery for bowel cancer can help people recover more quickly.
More about this trial
Having liquid food through a tube into the stomach, or through a drip into a vein, can help people gain weight. This can help reduce complications after surgery and the length of time people are in hospital.
But it is complicated and expensive to have extra food in this way. People need to have a drip, or a tube put into their stomach. Some people need to stay in hospital for a while before their operation, or have equipment and supplies delivered to their home.
Researchers in this trial wanted to see if standard food supplement drinks can help people with this cancer related weight loss, and if people are happy to take them.
Half the people taking part in this trial had standard advice on how to improve their diet. The other half had nutritional supplement drinks as well as dietary advice.
The main aim of this trial was to see if people who have supplement drinks before surgery have fewer complications after their operation.
Summary of results
- 46 had advice about diet
- 55 had advice about diet and had nutritional supplement drinks for at least 5 days before their operation
- 21 out of 45 people (47%) who had dietary advice
- 17 out of 55 people (30%) who had dietary advice and supplement drinks
- when people joined the trial
- 1-2 days before their operation
- 5-7 days after the operation
- how long people stayed in hospital
- their grip strength (a measure of muscle strength)
- the amount of body fat
How to join a clinical trial
Dr Sorrel Burden
British Dietetic Association
Macmillan Cancer Support
NIHR Clinical Research Network: Cancer
University of Manchester