The study included all new patients with the clinical diagnosis of a Wilms tumour. Anthropometric parameters, tumour size and serum levels of micronutrients at diagnosis were documented. During therapy oral feeds were encouraged and a locally made ready to use therapeutic peanut butter-based food (chiponde) supplied.
High rates of both acute and chronic (stunting) malnutrition were found in patients with Wilms tumour at diagnosis (45-55%), much higher than in community controls (11%). Patients with larger tumours had more severe acute malnutrition (r = -0.88, P < 0.01). With a supply of chiponde, 7 of 18 patients had a >5% increase in corrected weight during preoperative chemotherapy. Patients with a more positive nutritional course had a better tumour response to chemotherapy (r = 0.52, P < 0.05). Surprisingly, few micronutrient deficiencies were found, except for low serum levels of vitamin A (44% of patients).
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