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Early recognition of malnutrition and cachexia in the cancer patient: a position paper of a European School of Oncology Task Force

Aapro, M., Arends, J., Bozzetti, F., Fearon, K., Grunberg, S. M., Herrstedt, J., Hopkinson, Jane B., Jacquelin-Ravel, N., Jatoi, A., Kassa, S. and Strasser, F. 2014. Early recognition of malnutrition and cachexia in the cancer patient: a position paper of a European School of Oncology Task Force. Annals of Oncology 25 (8) , pp. 1492-1499. 10.1093/annonc/mdu085

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Background: Weight loss and cachexia are common, reduce tolerance of cancer treatment and the likelihood of response, and independently predict poor outcome. Methods: A group of experts met under the auspices of the European School of Oncology to review the literature and—on the basis of the limited evidence at present—make recommendations for malnutrition and cachexia management and future research. Conclusions: Our focus should move from end-stage wasting to supporting patients' nutritional and functional state throughout the increasingly complex and prolonged course of anti-cancer treatment. When inadequate nutrient intake predominates (malnutrition), this can be managed by conventional nutritional support. In the presence of systemic inflammation/altered metabolism (cachexia), a multi-modal approach including novel therapeutic agents is required. For all patients, oncologists should consider three supportive care issues: ensuring sufficient energy and protein intake, maintaining physical activity to maintain muscle mass and (if present) reducing systemic inflammation. The results of phase II/III trials based on novel drug targets (e.g. cytokines, ghrelin receptor, androgen receptor, myostatin) are expected in the next 2 years. If effective therapies emerge, early detection of malnutrition and cachexia will be increasingly important in the hope that timely intervention can improve both patient-centered and oncology outcomes.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Healthcare Sciences
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISSN: 0923-7534
Date of Acceptance: 5 February 2014
Last Modified: 04 Mar 2019 17:22

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