Published: 11-12-2018 11:16 | Updated: 11-12-2018 11:17

New thesis on nutritional factors for patients who undergo oesophageal cancer surgery

Poorna Anandavadivelan from the group Surgical Care Science will defend her thesis "Oesophageal Cancer Surgery - Nutritional Determinants of Survivorship" on December 14, 2018. Main Supervisor is Pernilla Lagergren.

Poorna Anandavadivelan

What's the main focus of your thesis?

The main focus my thesis is the role of nutritional factors that determine recovery in patients who undergo surgery for oesophageal cancer.

Which are the most important results?

The most important findings are that eating difficulties and symptoms impacting oral intake are important factors affecting general health-related quality of life in the short- and long-term after surgery for oesophageal cancer. Patients who are obese/overweight before operation have poorer survival when they experience severe symptoms affecting oral intake and severe weight loss after surgery. Patients experiencing symptoms of dumping syndrome report poor health-related quality of life. The satisfaction with dietitian support is very high among patients. The initiation of dietitian support before surgery resulted in a nutritional status equal to when dietitian support was initiated after surgery but not higher. Patient satisfaction with dietitian support was not a determining factor for higher nutritional status.

How can this new knowledge contribute to the improvement of people’s health?

Patients with oesophageal cancer are likely in need of targeted nutrition support to help with the recovery and to adapt to the life with a reconstructed new oesophageal substitute in longer term than previously expected. Particular focus should be on strategies with nutrition support in the post-operative phase, including early initiation of enteral feeding, nutritional interventions for post-operative complications, and attention to long-term nutritional intake and status.

What are your future ambitions?

My future ambitions are to continue to contribute to cancer research and to widen my knowledge in other types of cancer and the role of nutrition in improving oncological outcomes.


Friday December 14th, 2018 at 10:00, venue: Ulf von Euler J3:06, Karolinska University Hospital, Solnavägen 30


Oesophageal cancer surgery : nutritional determinants of survivorship