Though better studied in head/neck cancers, there are currently no studies on timing of feeding tube (FT) placement in patients with gastroesophageal cancer. This study sought to discern characteristics of patients who used versus did not use a prophylactic FT (pFT), and also analyzed factors associated with placement of FTs during chemoradiotherapy (CRT).
From 1998 to 2013, 1,329 patients underwent neoadjuvant CRT, of which 323 received an FT. Patients for whom FTs were placed prior to treatment due to tumor occlusion or substantial weight loss ( n = 130), and those with FTs placed following treatment ( n = 43) were excluded. One hundred patients had pFTs placed, and 50 underwent placement during CRT. The following was collected for each patient: demographic/patient information, oncologic/treatment characteristics, and CRT tolerance.
No significant differences were found in any parameter between cohorts that used ( n = 66) versus did not use a pFT ( n = 34); on univariate and multivariate analyses, no pretreatment characteristic associated with using a pFT. When compared with patients who used a pFT ( n = 66), those who required an FT during CRT ( n = 50) had lower body mass index ( p = 0.045), underwent higher-dose radiotherapy ( p = 0.003), and received induction chemotherapy ( p = 0.031). On multivariate analysis, receipt of induction chemotherapy and greater weight loss and esophagitis during treatment were associated with placement of FTs during CRT ( p < 0.05).