The prevalence of malnutrition in lung cancer patients at various stages of disease and treatment ranges from 45 to 69%. Prior to (chemo)radiation approximately 33% of lung cancer patients present with malnutrition, increasing to 50% post completion of treatment indicating a detrimental effect of the treatment on nutritional status. Malnutrition is associated with poorer patient and treatment outcomes including reduced survival, reduced response to treatment, poorer quality of life and reduced functional status. Limited high quality research is available on the impact of intensive dietary counselling in lung cancer patients undergoing (chemo)radiation. There is scope for intensive dietary counselling during (chemo)radiation in lung cancer patients to reduce weight loss, minimise decline in nutritional and functional status with subsequent impact on patient outcomes.
This study is a randomised controlled trial that will utilise a care pathway to guide medical nutrition therapy from pre-treatment through to post (chemo)radiation in the intervention arm. The study aims to determine the effect of early and intensive medical nutrition therapy in lung cancer patients on nutritional, functional, fatigue and treatment outcomes and test the resource feasibility and patient acceptability of delivering medical nutrition therapy in this patient group. Data from the control arm of the study will be explored to determine factors predictive of weight loss or malnutrition and compare outcomes for patients that are well nourished versus malnourished at baseline. Outcomes from this study will help inform health services to more effectively target nutrition services where they will have the greatest impact.
This abstract could form part of the symposium proposal for the Nutrition Symposium