Chemosensory and food-related changes significantly impacted food preferences and had practical and social consequences in daily life of patients with esophagogastric cancer treated with capecitabine and oxaliplatin and their relatives, a study published in the journal Supportive Care in Cancer has shown.1

Chemosensory changes are commonly reported adverse events of cytotoxic treatment and influence daily life by changing food-related behavior and daily practices.

These alterations can be especially important for patients with esophagogastric cancer who have specific needs in terms of eating. Therefore, researchers sought to assess the effect of chemosensory and food-related changes in those patients undergoing chemotherapy.

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For the study, researchers interviewed patients with advanced esophagogastric cancer treated with capecitabine and oxaliplatin using semi-structured interviews. Patients’ experiences with and the impact of chemosensory changes on daily life were assessed.

Results showed that there was a large variation in the effect of chemosensory changes in these patients; however, researchers found that daily life was impacted substantially when chemosensory and/or food-related changes were experienced.

The study further demonstrated 3 main themes from the interviews: altered food preferences, constraints on daily life, and the effect on social functioning.

The findings suggest that specific nutritional care for these patients should consider how to enhance food enjoyment and should take into account the specific needs of the patient, as related to the tumor location.


1. de Vries YC, Helmich E, Karsten MDA, et al. The impact of chemosensory and food-related changes in patients with advanced oesophagogastric cancer treated with capecitabine and oxaliplatin: a qualitative study [published online ahead of print February 27, 2016]. Supp Care Cancer. doi:10.1007/s00520-016-3128-z.