Purpose of review: Malnutrition, cancer cachexia, and sarcopenia often co-occur in patients with advanced cancer and are associated with poorer response to chemotherapy and reduced survival. Here, we evaluate the current literature regarding the role of nutrition and these associated conditions in patients with advanced lung cancer.
Recent findings: While rates of malnutrition are high, nutritional intervention studies have generally been limited by small sample sizes. Novel strategies such as home-based meal delivery may have promise. While no therapy is approved for cancer cachexia, ghrelin agonists and other targeted therapies have yielded promising data in clinical trials. Recent data also suggest that obesity may improve immunotherapy responsiveness. Malnutrition and associated muscle wasting are clearly negative prognostic markers in advanced lung cancer. Patients with malnutrition should be urgently referred for dietary counseling and guidelines for nutritional support should be followed. Optimal treatment of these syndromes will likely include nutrition and anti-cachexia interventions used in combination.
Keywords: Cancer cachexia; Immunotherapy; Lung Cancer; Malnutrition; Obesity; Sarcopenia.