Metallic Taste in Cancer Patients Treated with Systemic Therapy: A Questionnaire-based Study

Irene IJpma, Erik R. Timmermans, Remco J. Renken, Gert Horst, ter, Anna K. L. Reyners*

*Bijbehorende auteur voor dit werk

OnderzoeksoutputAcademicpeer review

10 Citaten (Scopus)
390 Downloads (Pure)


A metallic taste is reported by cancer patients as a side effect of systemic therapy. Despite the high prevalence, this taste alteration has received limited attention. The present study investigated: 1) the prevalence of metallic taste in cancer patients treated with systemic therapy; 2) possible predictors of metallic taste; and 3) characteristics of metallic taste. A heterogeneous population of 127 cancer patients, who had received systemic treatment in the past year or were still on treatment, completed a questionnaire developed for this study. Fifty-eight of 127 (46%) patients reported taste changes in the preceding week. Of these patients, 20 (34%) reported a metallic taste. Patients treated with chemotherapy, concomitant radiotherapy, as well as targeted therapy reported metallic taste. Women experienced metallic taste more often than men. Patients experiencing a metallic taste also reported more frequently that they were bothered by sour food and that everything tasted bitter. The experience of metallic taste was highly variable among patients. In conclusion, metallic taste is a frequently experienced taste alteration by cancer patients. Patients treated with chemotherapy, concomitant radiotherapy, and targeted therapy are all at risk for this taste alteration. However, not all patients reported this alteration as bothersome.

Originele taal-2English
Pagina's (van-tot)140-145
Aantal pagina's6
TijdschriftNutrition and cancer-An international journal
Nummer van het tijdschrift1
StatusPublished - 2017

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