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Effects of a dietary intervention on gastrointestinal symptoms after prostate cancer radiotherapy: Long-term results from a randomized controlled trial

Radiother Oncol. 2014 Nov;113(2):240-7.

Radiother Oncol. 2014 Nov;113(2):240-7.



To evaluate the long-term effects of dietary intervention on gastrointestinal symptoms after highly dose-escalated radiotherapy for localized prostate cancer, using boost with protons or high-dose-rate brachytherapy.


Patients were randomized to an intervention group (n=64) advised to reduce insoluble dietary fiber and lactose intake, or to a standard care group (n=66) advised to continue their usual diet. Gastrointestinal symptoms, other domains of health-related quality of life (HRQOL), and dietary intake were evaluated for ⩽24months post-radiotherapy with the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer quality-of-life questionnaires QLQ-C30 and QLQ-PR25, Gastrointestinal Side Effects Questionnaire, and Food Frequency Questionnaire. The effect of the intervention on gastrointestinal symptoms was evaluated using generalized estimating equations.


Dietary intervention had no obvious effect on long-term gastrointestinal symptoms or HRQOL. The intervention group markedly reduced their dietary fiber and lactose intake during radiotherapy, but adherence tended to decline over time. The vast majority of long-term gastrointestinal symptoms were reported as 'a little', with a noticeable difference from pre-treatment only for unintentional stool leakage, limitations on daily activities, and mucus discharge.


Long-term gastrointestinal symptoms were predominantly mild, and dietary intervention was not superior to a usual diet in preventing these symptoms.

Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.


Dietary intervention; Long-term gastrointestinal symptoms; Prostate cancer; Radiotherapy

Comment from Henk van der Poel: This randomized phase II comparison shows that dietary measures to reduce insoluble fiber and lactose intake did not significantly affect longer term gastrointestinal symptoms, possibly due to low longer term adherence.