• We attempted to determine whether nutritional supplementation with total parenteral nutrition (TPN) of malnourished patients with untreated squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck alters tumor growth. Fourteen patients underwent biopsies of normal and malignant tissues and were then placed in either a control or adjuvant TPN group. Nutritional parameters and biopsies were repeated over the ensuing three to 17 days. Biopsy specimens were analyzed by flow cytometry for changes in the percentage of hyperdiploid cells (PHC) and aneuploidy. The PHC of tumor biopsy specimens in patients given TPN increased significantly from 15.1±2.0 to 27.3±3.3, while no such change occurred in normal mucosa. The PHC after TPN was significantly greater in the patients with cancer than that observed in the controls. These data demonstrate that TPN may have a stimulatory effect on tumor cell cycle kinetics in humans.
(Arch Surg 1986;121:1282-1286)