John Libbey Eurotext

Bulletin du Cancer


Standards, Options and Recommendations for home parenteral or enteral nutrition in adult cancer patients Volume 88, issue 6, Juin 2001


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FNCLCC, Standards, Options, Recommandations, 101, rue de Tolbiac, 75654 Paris Cedex 13.

Context. The "Standards, Options and Recommendations" (SOR) project, started in 1993, is a collaboration between the Federation of the French Cancer Centres (FNCLCC), the 20 French Cancer Centres and specialists from French Public Universities, General Hospitals and Private Clinics. The main objective is the development of clinical practice guidelines to improve the quality of health care and outcome for cancer patients. The methodology is based on literature review and critical appraisal by a multidisciplinary group of experts, with feedback from specialists in cancer care delivery. Objectives. To develop clinical practice guidelines according to the definitions of the Standards, Options and Recommendations project for home parenteral or enteral nutrition in adult cancer patients. Methods. Data were identified by searching Medline®, Cancerlit®, web sites and using the personal reference lists of members of the expert groups. Once the guidelines were defined, the document was submitted for review to 72 independent reviewers. Results. The main recommendations for home parenteral or enteral nutrition in adult cancer patients are: 1) Home parenteral or enteral nutrition concerns cancer patients with malnutrition or with inadequate/impossible oral intake, during therapy of because of therapeutic after-effects (standard). Same indications apply for home and hospital artificial nutrition (standard). 2) Patients need a multidisciplinary follow-up (oncologists, nutritionists, and pain specialists), and this follow-up will make treatment adaptations according to the nutritional status possible (recommendation, expert agreement). An active participation of patients and/or their family circle is very important (standard). 3) The benefit of home parenteral or enteral nutrition on the quality of life of terminally ill patients (vs. hydration) has not been demonstrated. When life expectancy is below 3 months, and the Karnofsky index below 50, the drawbacks of home artificial nutrition are more important than its advantages. In this case, home parenteral or enteral nutrition is not recommended (recommendation, expert agreement). 4) Prospective clinical trials are recommended to evaluate the impact of home nutrition on quality of life in cancer patients (expert agreement). 5) The use of educational booklets that mention the telephone number of a referent health care and what to do when a problem happens (e.g. fever on home parenteral nutrition) is recommended (expert agreement). In France, patients should be referred to authorized home parenteral nutrition centres (recommendation, expert agreement).