LOUISVILLE, Ky. — A team of researchers from Baptist Health Louisville is studying how a plant-based amino acid drink is helping chemotherapy patients and sharing the results nationally.
Gastrointestinal issues—such as nausea, diarrhea, and weight loss—are common side effects reported by cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. Clinicians at Baptist Health Louisville began studying the new drink, Enterade, after an infusion nurse reported samples helped patients struggling with these symptoms.
Laura Mitchell, MSN, APRN, AOCN®, ACNS-BC, CHPN, co-author of the study, is an oncology clinical nurse specialist at Baptist Health Louisville.
“We have gotten statistically significant results regarding less nausea and less diarrhea. Of clinical significance, patients using Enterade experienced four pounds less weight loss. We’re now looking at some other things like impact on the healthcare system, in reducing unplanned visits to their healthcare provider,” Mitchell said. “We’re excited about the results.”
The study also revealed that patients who consumed the drink spent an average of one day less in the hospital versus those who did not, and fewer patients who used Enterade had to stop their treatments. Studies show that receiving recommended treatments on time leads to improved overall survival.
The research was presented at April’s Oncology Nursing Society Annual Symposium in San Antonio, TX and can be downloaded here.
The early analysis of findings from the ongoing study, which will continue to add patients until June 1, included 97 patients. 37 used Enterade, while 60 did not. Researchers recorded symptoms before the study and then before the second, third and fourth cycles of chemotherapy.