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Published: 11-11-2023

Nutritional therapy and palliative care in cancer cachexia: a systematic review

Telemaco Borba Hospital Regional, Paraná, Brazil / Norte Pioneiro Hospital Regional, Paraná, Brazil / Moura Hospital, Paraná, Brazil / Humaníssima Clinic, Paraná, Brazil
Palliative care Enteral/parenteral nutritional therapy Cancer


Introduction: According to evidence-based clinical practice guidelines, nutritional risk screening and nutritional support are essential for all cancer patients with or without cachexia because inadequate nutritional intake is often observed and associated with weight loss. Objective: It was to explore and discuss nutritional therapies and palliative care in cancer cachexia through a systematic review of the literature. Methods: The PRISMA Platform systematic review rules were followed. The search was carried out from August to October 2023 in the Scopus, PubMed, Science Direct, Scielo, and Google Scholar databases. The quality of the studies was based on the GRADE instrument and the risk of bias was analyzed according to the Cochrane instrument. Results and Conclusion: A total of 134 articles were found, and 38 articles were evaluated in full, and 28 were included and developed in the present systematic review study. Considering the Cochrane tool for risk of bias, the overall assessment resulted in 21 studies with a high risk of bias and 29 studies that did not meet GRADE and AMSTAR-2. Most studies showed homogeneity in their results, with X2=51.3%>50%. It was concluded that the preservation of nutritional status may be a relevant concern during the palliative care phase. In overweight and obese patients with advanced cancer, it was observed that almost 50% of patients are at nutritional risk and 13% are malnourished and have worse outcomes. Measures must be proportionate to the nutritional needs and predominant symptoms of each patient, as part of personalized and adapted nutritional treatment.


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How to Cite

Correia Filho, R. C. (2023). Nutritional therapy and palliative care in cancer cachexia: a systematic review. International Journal of College of Palliative Medicine of Sri Lanka, 1(2).