Background. Oesophageal cancer patients with substantial weight loss have worse prognosis. Weight loss is often
refractory to the nutritional support. Causes of the weight loss are multiple: oesophageal stricture, frequent alcohol
abuse, cancer related cachexia. It may be a consequence of metabolic changes mediated by cytokines, hormones and
tumour derived products. Leptin, a protein produced by adipocytes, is an important signalling molecule in energy
regulation, metabolism of fatty acids and it can also augment tumour growth of various cancer cell lines. Enhanced
intake of poly-unsaturated fatty acids may play an important role in the reversal of cancer related weight loss.
Methods and Results. In this study we examined the nutritional status (pre-treatment weight-loss, actual weight,
body mass index), serum levels of leptin, soluble leptin receptor, TNF-α, IGF-1 and plasma phosphatidyl-cholin fatty
acids before the beginning of treatment, after the onset of treatment and shortly before its completion. In the group
of 38 pts (33 men, 5 women), mean age 58 years, statistically significant mean pre-treatment weight-loss 8 kg and
significant mean weight loss 2 kg after chemoradiotherapy was observed. Concomitant chemoradiation led to
transient elevation of serum leptin level despite the weight loss during chemoradiotherapy. Significant changes in the
distribution of fatty acids in plasmatic phosphatidyl-cholin were observed.
Conclusions. Our results show the possibility for direct influence of chemoradiotherapy on body weight regulation
in advanced oesophageal cancer patients.
oesophageal cancer, soluble leptin receptor, fatty acids, nutritional status, concomitant