Guidance on the management of diarrhoea during cancer chemotherapy

Jervoise Andreyev, Paul Ross, Clare Donellan, Elaine Lennan, Pauline Leonard, Caroline Waters, Linda Wedlake, John Bridgewater, Rob Glynne-Jones, William Allum, Ian Chau, Richard Wilson, David Ferry

Research output: Contribution to journalLiterature reviewpeer-review

108 Citations (Scopus)


Diarrhoea induced by chemotherapy in cancer patients is common, causes notable morbidity and mortality, and is managed inconsistently. Previous management guidelines were based on poor evidence and neglect physiological causes of chemotherapy-induced diarrhoea. In the absence of level 1 evidence from randomised controlled trials, we developed practical guidance for clinicians based on a literature review by a multidisciplinary team of clinical oncologists, dietitians, gastroenterologists, medical oncologists, nurses, pharmacist, and a surgeon. Education of patients and their carers about the risks associated with, and management of, chemotherapy-induced diarrhoea is the foundation for optimum treatment of toxic effects. Adequate—and, if necessary, repeated—assessment, appropriate use of loperamide, and knowledge of fluid resuscitation requirements of affected patients is the second crucial step. Use of octreotide and seeking specialist advice early for patients who do not respond to treatment will reduce morbidity and mortality. In view of the burden of chemotherapy-induced diarrhoea, appropriate multidisciplinary research to assess meaningful endpoints is urgently required.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e447–e460
Number of pages14
JournalLancet Oncology
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2014


Dive into the research topics of 'Guidance on the management of diarrhoea during cancer chemotherapy'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this