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Niamh Buckley

Marketing Manager Pharma & Nutrition Ireland, Fresenius Kabi

A global healthcare company specialising in clinical nutrition aims to educate on the importance of nutrition for oncology patient outcomes.

This article was sponsored by Fresenius Kabi. Fresenius Kabi have also provided input on the scope and content and have approved the final article.

A substantial proportion of oncology treatments are calculated based on weight. Undernourishment in patients with cancer impairs the quality of life and response to treatment, further leading to poor prognosis.1 When nutritional status is not optimised, our body may get weaker in its reaction to challenges.2  

Optimising nutrition for oncology patients

Optimising the nutritional status of oncology patients is vital to supporting improved patient outcomes and response to treatment.3 However, in the context of cancer care, this is not without its challenges, as common side effects of the disease and its treatment include nausea, vomiting, cachexia (a wasting syndrome) and diarrhoea, which all have an impact on an individual’s nutritional status.  

The European Society for Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism (ESPEN) published guidelines for healthcare professionals involved in the management of cancer patients to offer optimum nutritional care in 2021. The guidelines highlight the crucial role of nutrition in patients not only at diagnosis but throughout their cancer journey.4  

Nutritional support is offered based
on a set of precise guidelines.

Nutritional support factors and delivery

Nutritional support is offered based on a set of precise guidelines, which include inability to eat, BMI (body mass index) and percentage of patient weight loss. It can come in many forms, from oral nutrition supplements to enteral nutrition (through a tube into the stomach or small intestine) and parenteral nutrition (through a tube inserted into a vein). 

The link between poor nutrition and health outcomes is well established. Research from large-scale trials suggests that good nutritional management in general not only helps to improve patients’ nutritional status and prevent malnutrition-related poor clinical outcomes but can also improve patients’ quality of life.5 In the palliative setting, the benefits and risks associated with nutritional support must be weighed appropriately.

Tools for improving nutritional status of oncology patients

Fresenius Kabi champions the importance of effective nutrition and provides a range of clinical nutrition products, medical technologies and IV generic drugs, used for the therapy and care of oncology patients. 

With its corporate mission of being ‘committed to life,’ Fresenius Kabi aims to put the right products in the hands of those who need them most. They aim to overcome some of the nutritional challenges faced by patients living with cancer, working with healthcare professionals to find the best enteral and parenteral nutrition solutions for their patients.

With the development of their case study webinar series last year, they are also helping to educate. They offer live on-demand clinical nutrition content, which aims to improve clinical nutrition knowledge and care outcomes.*

*This content is aimed at healthcare professionals only and is organised and funded by Fresenius Kabi Ireland.

[1] Kim DH. Nutritional issues in patients with cancer. Intest Res. 2019;17(4):455-462. doi:10.5217/ir.2019.00076
[2] 1.Chen M, Chen Y, Chen W, Hsieh C. The relationship of nutritional status with anticancer immunity and its prognostic value for head and neck cancer. Molecular carcinogenesis. 2023;62(9):1388-1398. doi:
[3] Muscaritoli M, Modena A, Valerio M, Marchetti P, Magarotto R, Quadrini S, Narducci F, Tonini G, Grassani T, Cavanna L, et al. The Impact of NUTRItional Status at First Medical Oncology Visit on Clinical Outcomes: The NUTRIONCO Study. Cancers. 2023; 15(12):3206.
[4] Muscaritoli, M. et al. (2021) Espen practical guideline: Clinical nutrition in cancer – clinical nutrition, ESPEN Practical Guideline: Clinical Nutrition in Cancer. Available at: (Accessed: 20 June 2024).
[5] Reber E, Strahm R, Bally L, Schuetz P, Stanga Z. Efficacy and Efficiency of Nutritional Support Teams. J Clin Med. 2019;8(9):1281. Published 2019 Aug 22. doi:10.3390/jcm8091281

Job Code: IE-NP-2400043, Date of Prep: June 2024

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