Purpose of review: This review addresses the relationship between nutritional intervention and quality of life in oncology patients.
Recent findings: Nutrition related symptoms, such as anorexia and weight loss, reflect impaired nutritional status, which is often associated with reduced quality of life. Malnutrition can be related to reduced response or tolerance to cancer treatment. Early nutritional intervention may positively impact on quality of life and enhance clinical response in oncology patients.
Summary: Nutritional intervention should be considered as a supportive measure within the global oncology strategy. In curative oncology care, it contributes to reduced postoperative infection rate, better control of cancer-related symptoms, shortened length of hospital stay and improved tolerance to treatment. In palliative care, the nutritional intervention focuses on controlling symptoms, thus improving quality of life. The evaluation of nutritional status should include an assessment of quality of life in order to optimize nutritional treatment for patients' individual requirements. Because of the potentially clinically relevant impact of nutritional intervention on quality of life, nutritional care should be included in any antineoplastic strategy.