Abnormal fatty acid breath tests in cancer patients, with nutritional correlation

William E. Delaney, Eileen Nickoloff, David S. Ettinger, Helen M. Drew, Debra J. Szeluga, Robert K. Stuart

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


In a group of cancer patients selected to exclude common causes of abnormal lipid absorption, we have examined this function using a breath test. Abnormal breath tests of fatty acid absorption (FABT) are found in most cancer patients, as has been previously claimed. These tests are abnormal in both quality (delayed peak in nine of ten patients) and quantity (reduced maximum peak in five of ten patients) of fatty acid absorption. In many patients abnormal FABT is not due to chemotherapy. Our preliminary results indicate no definite malabsorption mechanism but more stringent tests of absorption need to be applied. Malnutrition is common in cancer patients, even in those with little or no weight loss, and some of the malnutrition may be related to abnormal lipid absorption or to other disturbed aspects of lipid metabolism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)727-731
Number of pages5
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 15 1982

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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