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.
- Body Composition
- Early Diagnosis
- Molecular Targeted Therapy
- Pharmaceutical Preparations
- Practice Patterns, Physicians'
- Weight Loss