Chocolate as a ‘taste-test’ for chemo response?

Researchers from the Cancer Council Victoria conducted a prospective, multicentre cohort study of 52 women receiving an anthracycline and/or taxane containing chemotherapy regimen for breast cancer.

The adult women were  receiving treatment at three hospital-based oncology clinics in Melbourne from April to December 2011. 

They underwent standardised testing of taste perception, appetite and how appealing food was at six time points before, during and after therapy to measure changes, and were examined for associations between taste and hedonic changes and nutritional outcomes.

Lead author Dr Anna Boltong, the Cancer Council Victoria’s head of cancer and information support service, said they found that enjoyment of chocolate decreased significantly after chemotherapy began, and that this was associated with them consuming fewer kilojoules, protein and fat. “So, a chocolate taste test could be the answer,” she said.