Background: Because the extant literature suggests wine increases appetite, this study sought to determine whether this effect could be observed in advanced cancer patients with appetite loss. Methods: Advanced cancer patients with self-reported loss of appetite were randomly assigned to white wine with ≤15 % alcohol content twice a day for 3–4 weeks versus a nutritional supplement, such as Boost® or Ensure®. Patients assigned to wine were encouraged to also take a nutritional supplement, whereas patients assigned to the nutritional supplement arm were told to abstain completely from alcohol. Patient-reported outcomes were captured with a validated questionnaire to assess the primary endpoint of appetite improvement. Results: A total of 141 patients (118 evaluable) were enrolled. Twenty-eight patients (48 %) in the wine arm reported an improvement in appetite at some point during the treatment period, whereas 22 patients (37 %) assigned to the nutritional supplement arm also reported improvement (p = 0.35). Other appetite-related questions and questionnaire items showed no statistically significant differences between treatment arms. In both arms, approximately 9 % of patients achieved weight stability (p = 0.98); median survival was not statistically different. Both interventions were well tolerated. Conclusion: As prescribed in this trial, wine does not improve appetite or weight in advanced cancer patients.
- Weight loss
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