Therapeutic role of glutamine in management of radiation enteritis: a meta-analysis of 13 randomized controlled trials

De-dong Cao, Hui-lin Xu, Min Xu, Xiang-yun Qian, Zhu-cheng Yin and Wei Ge _

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:30595-30605. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.15741

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De-dong Cao1, Hui-lin Xu2, Min Xu1, Xiang-yun Qian1, Zhu-cheng Yin1 and Wei Ge1

1 Department of Oncology, RenMin Hospital of WuHan University, WuHan, Hubei, P.R. China

2 Department of Oncology, The Fifth Hospital of Wuhan, Wuhan, P.R. China

Correspondence to:

Wei Ge, email:

Keywords: radiation enteritis; glutamine; radiotherapy; meta-analysis; evidence based medicine

Received: December 10, 2016 Accepted: February 07, 2017 Published: February 25, 2017


Objective: To systematically evaluate the clinical efficacy of glutamine in treating radiation enteritis in cancer patients treated with radiotherapy.

Methods: Electronic databases including Pubmed, Embase, the Cochrane library, and CNKI were systematically searched, until April 2016. Randomized controlled trials (RCT) of glutamine in the treatment of radiation enteritis in cancer patients were searched, and RevMan 5.3 software was used for Meta-analysis.

Results: A total of 13 RCTs were included, involving 979 patients. The results of meta-analysis showed that the total efficacy of glutamine was higher for patients with radiation enteritis compared with that in control group, however, there was no statistically significant difference(OR = 3.07, 95%CI: 0.79-11.96; P > 0.05). The combined ORs for all 5 grades(from grade 0 to grade 4) of radiation enteritis in patients receiving glutamine were 2.06, 1.35, 0.55, 0.62 and 0.59, respectively(P > 0.05 for all). Glutamine also failed to significantly improve the symptoms of radiation enteritis in terms of tenesmus, abdominal cramping and blood in bowel movement(P > 0.05).

Conclusions: Implementation of glutamine fails to improve the severity and symptoms in patients with radiation enteritis.

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