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Poster Display session 1

2047 - Taste and smell alterations (TSAs) in patients (pts) with stage II-III colon cancer (CC): a pilot within the PROTECT study


28 Sep 2019


Poster Display session 1


Supportive Care and Symptom Management

Tumour Site


Jeroen Derksen


Annals of Oncology (2019) 30 (suppl_5): v718-v746. 10.1093/annonc/mdz265


J.W..G. Derksen1, M. Koopman2, D. ten Bokkel Huinink3, D.W. Sommeijer4, B. Dorresteijn5, M. Jourdan5, A.M. May6

Author affiliations

  • 1 Medical Oncology And Dept. Of Epidemiology - Julius Center, University Medical Center Utrecht, 3584 CX3508 GA - Utrecht/NL
  • 2 Medical Oncology, University Medical Center Utrecht, 3508 GA - Utrecht/NL
  • 3 Medical Oncology, Diakonessenhuis Utrecht, 3508 TG - Utrecht/NL
  • 4 Medical Oncology, Flevo hospital Almere, 1300 EG - Almere/NL
  • 5 Nutricia Advanced Medical Nutrition, Danone Nutricia Research, 3584 CT - Utrecht/NL
  • 6 Julius Center, University Medical Center Utrecht, 3508 GA - Utrecht/NL


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Abstract 2047


TSAs are common side effects among cancer pts undergoing chemotherapy and may lead to inadequate dietary intake and reduced quality of life. Here, we investigate the incidence of multiple components of self-reported TSAs and its etiological determinants in a homogeneous group of pts with stage II-III CC.


We used data collected in an ongoing observational study within the Prospective Dutch Colorectal Cancer Cohort, designed to study nutritional factors and oncological outcomes. Pts receive questionnaires on dietary intake by food-frequency questionnaire (past month average intake), dietary supplement use and TSAs at diagnosis (T0), and at 6, 12, 24 months post-diagnosis. Here, we selected pts with stage II-III CC, with completed T6 questionnaires and available clinical data.


We included 87/468 pts for analysis (updated for ESMO) with a mean age 64.0±7.6 years, 70% male and 70% current/former smokers. Adjuvant chemotherapy (ACT), received by 52% of pts, consisted of CAPOX (90%), FOLFOX (5%), or CAP (5%) as initial regimen. TSAs were reported at T0 (4% of pts) and at T6 (32% of pts). TSA presence was significantly related to receiving ACT (RR 13.8, 95%CI: 3.5-54.3), but not to age, sex, education and smoking status. ACT treated pts more often reported a change in taste ability (49%, p < 0.001), change in taste perception (51%, p < 0.001), dry mouth (29%, p < 0.001), bad taste (38%, p < 0.001), and metallic taste (18%, p = 0.006), compared to pts who did not receive ACT. Pts with TSAs did not significantly differ from pts without TSAs in terms of caloric intake at T6 (p = 0.69). Caloric intake was low (no-TSA (n = 59) 1772 kCal and TSA (n = 28) 1809 kCal) and was below the ESPEN guidelines on nutrition in cancer patients for both groups.


TSAs are more prevalent in CC pts who received ACT compared to pts who did not, with taste more affected than smell. Pts had caloric intake below guideline recommendations at T6. The influence of TSAs on caloric intake appears to be limited when caloric intake is already insufficient. More pts, follow-up, and data on macronutrients and quality of life are needed to confirm and enrich these preliminary findings and ultimately help improve supportive care.

Clinical trial identification

Editorial acknowledgement

Legal entity responsible for the study

University Medical Center Utrecht.


Province of Utrecht, The Netherlands.


B. Dorresteijn: Full / Part-time employment: Danone Nutricia Research. M. Jourdan: Full / Part-time employment: Danone Nutricia Research. All other authors have declared no conflicts of interest.

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