Historically, it was common practice for clinicians to recommend a low-fibre diet during and/or after radiation treatment to alleviate diarrhea-related symptoms. However, long-term dietary fibre restrictive practices may negatively impact nutritional status, diet quality and the gut microbiota. The inconclusiveness of the evidence around dietary interventions, including fibre, in this population has made it challenging to standardize practice, and there are no recommendations for specific foods. Studies conducted in patients with gynaecological cancers undergoing pelvic radiotherapy have shown there are potential benefits demonstrated with a high dietary fibre intervention in improving these radiation-induced gastrointestinal symptoms. However, before further investigation is undertaken into prescribing fibre as a therapeutic agent, it must first be determined if increasing soluble fibre intake via dietary counselling is feasible in this population, and whether it can improve patient outcomes (gastrointestinal toxicity, nutritional status and quality of life) without any adverse consequences on radiation treatment delivery accuracy.  

This research is funded by the Australian Government Research Training Program (RTP) Scholarship. 

Project members

UQ School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences researchers involved in this project:

Mrs Teresa Brown

Academic Title Holder
School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences

Associate Professor Judy Bauer

Associate Professor
School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences

External researchers involved in this project:

Alice Grigg
Radiation Therapist 
Cancer Care Services 
Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital 

Dr Philip Chan
Senior Radiation Oncologist
Cancer Care Services 
Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital 

Dr Jeffrey Goh
Senior Medical Oncologist 
Cancer Care Services 
Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital