Background: Adequate and appropriate nutrition during cancer treatment plays an outstanding role in patients' response to treatment, their quality of life, and saving treatment cost. During the treatment period, children are prone to malnutrition because, they need more substrate for the treatment of their illness, and also they have fewer amounts of macronutrients and micronutrients storages. Several studies have shown that supplementation has anticachectic effect on patients suffering from cancer.
Objectives: This study evaluated the clinical effects of a protein and energy dense nutritional supplement in a group of patients with pediatric cancer under active chemotherapy.
Patients and Methods: The study was a randomized-controlled clinical trial, including 70 patients with pediatric malignant disease, receiving intensive chemotherapy. A nutritional supplement (haleem) was given to 35 patients, and the rest, regarded as controls, did not receive any supplementation. The patients were examined for their weight, height, albumin, prealbumin, globulin, and total protein. Next, the data were recorded at baseline and then after 45 days.
Results: On the 45th day, weight loss was significant in the control group (P < 0.001), whereas weight gain was observed in the treatment group (P < 0.001). In addition, remission rate was significantly higher (P = 0.036) in the treatment group compared to the control group.
Conclusions: A comparison between the results of the treatment and control groups showed that during chemotherapy, supplement treatment not only prevented weight loss but also caused weight gain in the treatmet group compared to the control group who received no supplement.