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Spurlock publishes article on tube feeding patients with head and neck cancer

Amy Spurlock, a professor in the School of Nursing, published an article, Blenderized food tube feeding in patients with head and neck cancer, in the journal “Nutrition in Clinical Practice.”

The article is the result of a pilot study of head and neck cancer patients who received blended tube feedings via gastrostomy tubes during chemotherapy.

“Our team collaborated with physicians from a local cancer center in Alabama and the Mayo Clinic in this research,” Spurlock said.

These patients often experience malnutrition due to declines in energy intake, weight, and quality of life due to the impact of treatment on gastrointestinal symptoms, according to Spurlock.

“Of the 16 patients who completed the six-week assessment, weights and body mass index for 15 patients trended upward. For most patients, quality of life and oral intake increased and GI symptoms decreased over the six-week period,” she said.