About this Research Topic
Background: Cancer is a complex disease that results from multiple interactions between genes and the environment and is regarded as one of the current leading causes of mortality worldwide. Nutritional wasting is highly prevalent in cancer patients and can influence a patient’s treatment and survival outcomes. It is estimated that 15 to 40% of patients report weight loss at diagnosis, and it is estimated that 40 to 80% of all cancer patients are undernourished during the course of the disease. This nutritional wasting results from the combination of reduced nutrient absorption, alterations in appetite, taste, dietary intake, hormone-induced metabolic changes and cancer-related immune activation as well as inflammatory state.
Nutritional wasting and undernutrition can influence patient treatment outcomes, delay wound healing, worsen muscle function and increase the risk of post-operative complications. It can also impair tolerance and response to antineoplastic treatments, which can in turn lead to extended hospital stays, increase the risk for treatment interruptions, and possibly reduce survival rates. Cancer treatments such as surgery and antineoplastic treatments can also significantly impact a patients’ nutritional status and body composition. Chemotherapy and radiotherapy related symptoms occur in more than 50% of patients.
Goal: The prevention and management of nutritional wasting is increasingly recognized as a significant element of cancer care. Bearing this in mind, the clinical efforts and priority given to improve treatment outcomes, will logically have to include nutritional management, nutritional interventions and adequacy of body composition. The search for effective nutritional interventions that improve body composition (through the preservation of muscle mass and muscle quality) is of utmost importance for clinicians and patients, given the implications for prognosis. A proactive assessment of the clinical alterations that occur during cancer treatments and during the disease course, is therefore essential for selecting adequate nutritional interventions, that will have the best impact on patient outcomes.
In order to tackle nutritional deterioration and optimize outcomes in cancer patients, gathering objective data on nutritional status, body composition, clinical parameters and their evolution throughout the disease course, is of prime concern. Different cancer types or locations display different patterns that require tailored nutritional therapy that might impact the success of oncological treatments. Early tailored intervention has the potential to improve body composition and treatment efficacy, and as evidence stands, it is an obligatory adjuvant intervention, with the likelihood of improving prognosis of the disease itself. In depth knowledge of the inter-relations between the clinical, nutritional, metabolic, and pharmacological dimensions in cancer care requires further applied research.
Scope: This Research Topic therefore welcomes novel multidisciplinary research aimed at understanding optimal nutrition interventions to revert, prevent and treat nutritional wasting in different cancer types.
We welcome original research, systematic reviews, controlled randomized studies, and analytical, descriptive and cross-sectional studies on themes such as, but not limited to:
- Research on nutritional status, body composition, clinical parameters and their evolution throughout the disease course of different cancers.
- Nutritional interventions, their efficacy and their impact on patient outcomes.
- Metabolic and nutritional alterations that influence patient recovery and survival outcomes.
- Intervention studies on tailored nutritional interventions.
- Multimodal interventions and outcomes.
Keywords: Nutritional Wasting, Myopenia, Sarcopenia, Cachexia, Cancer, Nutritional Interventions, Multimodal Management, Tailored Nutrition, Cancer Outcomes
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.