The pilot trial of the prevention of the increase in electrical taste thresholds by zinc containing fluid infusion during chemotherapy to treat primary lung cancer.J Exp Clin Cancer Res 2003; 22(4):557-63JE
It is well known that there are various adverse effects during chemotherapy for cancer treatment. A taste disorder is also seen in 35-70% of patients. It has been reported that a zinc deficiency is associated with the development of these alterations in taste sensation. The purpose of this pilot study was to determine whether the zinc including infusion had the effect on taste disorder in patients with lung cancer. Taste disorder was evaluated as the increase in electrical taste thresholds using an electrogustometer. The plasma zinc concentration was also measured. Although there was no significant correlation, the increase in taste thresholds was detected in many patients who had a low zinc concentration even before receiving chemotherapy. Moreover, after 2 weeks of chemotherapy, almost all patients who did not have a zinc containing infusion showed development of taste disorder (5/5, 100% at chorda tympani area; 4/5, 80% at glossopharyngeal area), whereas no development of taste disorder was observed in those patients receiving a zinc containing infusion. These results suggest the possibility that the administration of zinc during chemotherapy could be a useful supportive therapy for preventing taste disorder and to help maintain a better quality of life.