Clinical and Translational Oncology

, Volume 20, Issue 5, pp 619–629 | Cite as

Nutritional support and parenteral nutrition in cancer patients: an expert consensus report

  • J. A. VirizuelaEmail author
  • M. Camblor-Álvarez
  • L. M. Luengo-Pérez
  • E. Grande
  • J. Álvarez-Hernández
  • M. J. Sendrós-Madroño
  • P. Jiménez-Fonseca
  • M. Cervera-Peris
  • M. J. Ocón-Bretón
Research Article



Malnutrition is a frequent medical problem of cancer patients that negatively impacts their quality of life.


A multidisciplinary group of experts in Medical Oncology, Pharmacy, and Nutrition convened to discuss the management of the nutritional support in cancer patients.


Of the 18 questions addressed, 9 focused on nutritional support, 5 were related to parenteral nutrition (PN) and 4 about home PN (HPN). The panel of experts recommends using nutritional screening routinely, at diagnosis and throughout the disease course, for detecting the risk of malnutrition and, if it is positive, to perform a complete nutritional assessment, to diagnose malnutrition. Currently, there are different screening tools and methods that allow us to detect nutritional risk. Based on the evidence and experience, the panel stated that PN is indicated mainly when it is not possible to use the digestive tract and/or oral feeding and/or enteral nutrition is not sufficient or possible. The nutritional needs of the cancer patients, except in those cases where individualized measures are required, should be considered similar to healthy individuals (25–30 kcal/kg/day). The panel considers that the nutritional monitoring of the cancer patient should be multidisciplinary and adapted to the characteristics of each center. Additionally, the objective of the HPN is to improve or maintain the nutritional status of a patient at home.


This document seeks to lay down a set of recommendations and to identify key issues that may be useful for the nutritional management of cancer patients.


Nutrition Nutritional support Enteral nutrition Parenteral nutrition Home parenteral nutrition Cancer 



The authors wish to thank Baxter Ltd. for their collaboration with the logistics of the meetings and the assistance with the medical writing. It should be noted that Baxter Ltd. was not involved in the preparation of the recommendations nor did the company in any way influence the scientific consensus reached. Editorial assistance in the preparation of this manuscript was provided by Antonio Martinez (MD) of Ciencia y Deporte Ltd.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.

Informed consent

Informed consent was not needed for this study.


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Copyright information

© Federación de Sociedades Españolas de Oncología (FESEO) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. A. Virizuela
    • 1
    Email author
  • M. Camblor-Álvarez
    • 2
  • L. M. Luengo-Pérez
    • 3
  • E. Grande
    • 4
  • J. Álvarez-Hernández
    • 5
  • M. J. Sendrós-Madroño
    • 6
  • P. Jiménez-Fonseca
    • 7
  • M. Cervera-Peris
    • 8
  • M. J. Ocón-Bretón
    • 9
  1. 1.Department of Medical OncologyVirgen Macarena University HospitalSevillaSpain
  2. 2.Endocrinology and Nutritional DepartmentGregorio Marañón University General HospitalMadridSpain
  3. 3.Dietetic and Clinical Nutrition Unit, Endocrinology and Nutritional DepartmentInfanta Cristina University HospitalBadajozSpain
  4. 4.Department of Medical OncologyRamón y Cajal HospitalMadridSpain
  5. 5.Endocrinology and Nutritional DepartmentPrince of Asturias University HospitalMadridSpain
  6. 6.Catalan Institute of OncologyBarcelonaSpain
  7. 7.Department of Medical OncologyAsturias Central University HospitalOviedoSpain
  8. 8.Pharmacy DepartmentSon Espases University HospitalPalma de MallorcaSpain
  9. 9.Endocrinology and Nutritional DepartmentLozano Blesa Clinic University HospitalZaragozaSpain

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