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Nutritional support in children and young people with cancer undergoing chemotherapy

Overview of attention for article published in Cochrane database of systematic reviews, August 2015
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  • In the top 25% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (93rd percentile)
  • Good Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age and source (75th percentile)

Mentioned by

1 blog
1 policy source
21 X users
2 Facebook pages
1 Wikipedia page


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384 Mendeley
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Nutritional support in children and young people with cancer undergoing chemotherapy
Published in
Cochrane database of systematic reviews, August 2015
DOI 10.1002/14651858.cd003298.pub3
Pubmed ID

Evelyn J Ward, Lisa M Henry, Amanda J Friend, Simone Wilkins, Robert S Phillips


It is well documented that malnutrition is a common complication of paediatric malignancy and its treatment. Malnutrition can often be a consequence of cancer itself or a result of chemotherapy. Nutritional support aims to reverse malnutrition seen at diagnosis, prevent malnutrition associated with treatment and promote weight gain and growth. The most effective and safe forms of nutritional support in children and young people with cancer are not known. To determine the effects of any form of parenteral (PN) or enteral (EN) nutritional support, excluding vitamin supplementation and micronutrient supplementation, in children and young people with cancer undergoing chemotherapy and to determine the effect of the nutritional content of PN and EN. This is an update of a previous Cochrane review. We searched the following databases for the initial review: CENTRAL (The Cochrane Library, Issue 2, 2009), MEDLINE (1950 to 2006), EMBASE (1974 to 2006), CINAHL (1982 to 2006), the National Research Register (2007) and Dissertations & Theses (2007). Experts in the field were also contacted for information on relevant trials. For this update, we searched the same electronic databases from 2006 to September 2013. We also scrutinised the reference lists of included articles to identify additional trials. Randomised or quasi-randomised controlled trials comparing any form of nutritional support with another, or control, in children or young people with cancer undergoing chemotherapy. Two authors independently selected trials. At least two authors independently assessed quality and extracted data. We contacted trialists for missing information. The current review included the eight trials from the initial review and six new trials which randomised 595 participants (< 21 years of age) with leukaemias or solid tumours undergoing chemotherapy. The trials were all of low quality with the exception of two of the trials looking at glutamine supplementation. One small trial found that compared to EN, PN significantly increased weight (mean difference (MD) 4.12, 95% CI 1.91 to 6.33), serum albumin levels (MD 0.70, 95% CI 0.14 to 1.26), calorie intake (MD 22.00, 95% CI 5.12 to 38.88) and protein intake (MD 0.80, 95% CI 0.45 to 1.15). One trial comparing peripheral PN and EN with central PN found that mean daily weight gain (MD -27.00, 95% CI -43.32 to -10.68) and energy intake (MD -15.00, 95% CI -26.81 to -3.19) were significantly less for the peripheral PN and EN group, whereas mean change in serum albumin was significantly greater for that group (MD 0.47, 95% CI 0.13 to 0.81, P = 0.008). Another trial with few participants found an increase in mean energy intake (% recommended daily amount) in children fed an energy dense feed compared to a standard calorie feed (MD +28%, 95% CI 17% to 39%). Three studies looked at glutamine supplementation. The evidence suggesting that glutamine reduces severity of mucositis was not statistically significant in two studies (RR 0.64, 95% CI 0.19 to 2.2 and RR 0.85, 95% CI 0.66 to 1.1) and differences in reduction of infection rates were also not significant in two studies (RR 1.0, 95% CI 0.72 to 1.4 and RR 0.98, 95% CI 0.63 to 1.51). Only one study compared olive oil based PN to standard lipid containing PN. Despite similar calorie contents in both feeds, the standard lipid formula lead to greater weight gain (MD -0.34 z-scores, 95% CI -0.68 to 0.00). A single study compared standard EN with fructooligosaccharide containing EN. There was no difference in weight gain between groups (mean difference -0.12, 95% CI -0.57 to 0.33), with adverse effects (nausea) occurring equally between the groups (RR 0.92, 95% CI 0.48 to 1.74). There is limited evidence from individual trials to suggest that PN is more effective than EN in well-nourished children and young people with cancer undergoing chemotherapy. The evidence for other methods of nutritional support remains unclear. Limited evidence suggests an energy dense feed increases mean daily energy intake and has a positive effect on weight gain. Evidence suggesting glutamine supplementation reduces incidence and severity of mucositis, infection rates and length of hospital stay is not statistically significant. Further research, incorporating larger sample sizes and rigorous methodology utilising valid and reliable outcome measures, is essential.

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X Demographics

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Mendeley readers

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 384 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
South Africa 1 <1%
Unknown 383 100%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Master 62 16%
Student > Bachelor 55 14%
Student > Ph. D. Student 29 8%
Researcher 25 7%
Other 21 5%
Other 62 16%
Unknown 130 34%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Medicine and Dentistry 106 28%
Nursing and Health Professions 58 15%
Psychology 12 3%
Agricultural and Biological Sciences 10 3%
Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutical Science 9 2%
Other 44 11%
Unknown 145 38%
Attention Score in Context

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 28. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 12 December 2019.
All research outputs
of 25,457,858 outputs
Outputs from Cochrane database of systematic reviews
of 11,499 outputs
Outputs of similar age
of 278,220 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Cochrane database of systematic reviews
of 274 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 25,457,858 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done particularly well and is in the 94th percentile: it's in the top 10% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 11,499 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 40.0. This one has done well, scoring higher than 76% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 278,220 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 93% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 274 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has done well, scoring higher than 75% of its contemporaries.