Purpose: Awareness of advances in the nutritional aspects of cancer care and translation of this information into clinical practice are important for oncology practitioners to effectively couple oncologic and nutritional approaches throughout the cancer journey. The goal of this consensus statement by a panel of medical oncologists was to provide practical and implementable guidance addressing nutritional aspects of cancer care from the perspective of the medical oncologist.
Methods: A panel of medical oncologists agreed on a series of statements supported by scientific evidence and expert clinical opinion.
Findings: Participating experts emphasized that both poor nutritional intake and metabolic alterations underlie cancer-related malnutrition. The use of liquid and high energy-dense oral nutritional supplements may enable better patient compliance, whereas higher efficacy is more likely with the use of pharmaconutrient-enriched oral nutritional supplements in terms of improved weight, lean body mass, functional status, and quality of life, as well as better tolerance to antineoplastic treatment. A multimodal approach is currently believed to be the best option to counteract the catabolism leading to cancer-related malnutrition; this treatment is scheduled in parallel with anticancer therapies and includes nutritional interventions, multitarget drug therapies, and exercise and rehabilitation programs. Participating experts emphasized the role of the oncologist as a reference professional figure in the coordination of nutritional care for patients with cancer within the context of complex and different clinical scenarios, particularly for permissive-adjunctive nutritional support.
Implications: This review article provides practical guidance addressing major nutritional aspects of cancer care from the medical oncologist's perspective. Thus, this document is expected to assist oncology practitioners in terms of awareness of advances in the nutritional aspects of cancer care and translation of this information into their clinical practice to effectively couple oncologic and nutritional approaches as part of the continuum of care for patients with cancer.