The increasing number of unfit patients calls for better risk assessment prior to initiating anti-tumor treatment. This is a major concern in the prevention and reduction of treatment-related complications. The aim of our study was to evaluate the nutritional status for the risk assessment of patients qualifying to receive the gemcitabine and oxaliplatin (GEMOX) regimen. This single-center, retrospective study examined baseline clinical and biological characteristics in a cohort of 165 unselected, consecutive cancer patients receiving GEMOX. Malnutrition was defined as either body mass index (BMI) <18.5 kg/m(2), body weight loss >10% over 3 mo, or albuminemia <35 g/L. A total of 165 patients (median age 61 yr, PS 0-1: 71%) were studied. Malnutrition was seen in 43% of PS 0-1 patients, vs. 60% of PS 2 and 66% of PS 3 patients (P > 0.05). Median relative dose-intensity was 0.90 (0.17-1.04). GEMOX dose-intensity correlated negatively with loss of baseline weight (r = -0.24, P < 0.02). In patients who did not complete more than 2 cycles of chemotherapy, median PS (P < 0.01), mean C-reactive protein (CRP; P < 0.01), and mean albuminemia (P < 0.05) were, respectively, significantly higher, higher, and lower. Malnutrition is associated with a high risk of early discontinuance of treatment. Systematic basal evaluation of the nutritional status, including albuminemia and BMI, is recommended.