Replay Nutricia EONS15 symposium on patient-centered care in nutrition

Nutricia is proud to collaborate with the European Oncology Nursing Society (EONS), a pan-European membership organization for cancer nurses. EONS has a current membership of almost 28,000 cancer nurses from all over Europe, the largest group of healthcare workers in the oncology workforce.
EONS15 conference took place from Saturday-Monday 10-12 September 2022 during ESMO congress, in Paris, France. The theme of the 2022 EONS conference was: ‘Quality cancer care: pathways to clinical excellence in cancer nursing’.

Replay Nutricia Symposium “Person-centred interprofessional practice in nutrition – from dream to reality”

Replay the Nutricia-sponsored symposium at EONS15 “Person-centered interprofessional practice in nutrition -from dream to reality” and learn more about the role of different health care professionals involved in the nutritional care of people with cancer. Speakers represented a multidisciplinary team, including Prof Jann Arends (ESMO) Prof Alessandro Laviano (ESPEN), Sara Parreira (EONS), Nicole Erickson (EFAD) and a patient representative Robert Greene. They discussed the best ways to embed clinical nutrition guidelines into clinical practice and work together to provide best care for people with cancer as well as better understand the experiences of people with cancer and how to best support their nutritional needs.

Key messages

  • Malnutrition is common in people with cancer and too often underdiagnosed or undertreated
  • Patient-centered care is not as effective and efficient without nutritional care
  • Nutritional screening , monitoring and guideline are fundamental aspects of nursing practice
  • Nutritional care can be delivered in full potential only within a multi-professional comprehensive supportive care approach.

Replay symposium highlights or get access to full symposium recording

Watch this 20 minute video (left) covering the highlights of the EONS symposium “Person-centred interprofessional practice in nutrition – from dream to reality”. Visit the ESMO website to replay the full recording.

Nutritional care is important at every stop of the patient journey

Cancer treatment is a long journey. At each step, adequate nutritional status will support better treatment outcomes & quality of life1-6. Cancer treatments act a trigger of catabolism, leading to weight and muscle loss, that adversely impact clinical outcomes7-10. Early detection and treatment of malnutrition is essential to optimize cancer care11-12

Nurses play a central role delivering patient centered care throughout the oncology treatment journey, which includes identifying nutritional risk and supporting optimal nutritional management, with medical nutrition when required. 

Nurses play a key role in nutritional management

Patients with cancer frequently (30-85%) experience malnutrition and/or cachexia as a result of their disease (e.g. alterations in energy and protein metabolism), and its treatment, with side effects such as taste changes, nausea, low appetite)13-23

Decreased food intake means that cancer patients are often deficient and/or have an inadequacy in key macro and micronutrients, which can result in significant weight loss, loss of muscle mass (cachexia) and impact physical function. Due to the negative impact of poor nutritional status on treatment tolerance and quality of life, expert and medical guidelines highlight the importance of early management of malnutrition to support patient outcomes during treatment24-31

Cancer cachexia in adult patients

Cancer nurses have a central role in the prevention and recognition of malnutrition as well as in the management of situations that might require nutritional support:

  • Follow the patients from diagnosis through to follow-up after treatment, generally spending more time with them than oncologists.
  • Have an essential role in the early detection and screening of malnutrition.
  • Provide necessary information and guidance to patients.
  • Advise and encourage nutritional support.
  • Ensure the adherence to the dietary plan32.

How can nurses contribute to optimal nutritional care in cancer?

The nutrition care process can be described as a few-step process, from screening and assessment of malnutrition to interventions, monitoring and evaluation. Cancer nurses are in a great position to provide support and tailored information for patients with cancer on how to manage nutrition-related challenges through whole journey.

During cancer treatment, patients may develop side effects (such as taste & smell alterations) that have a negative effect on their ability to eat. Oncology nurses can inform patients according to nutritional guidelines , provide  nutritional advice , promote self-management, psychosocial support, patient education and coaching. They can , also raise and discuss nutritional issues with the oncologist and the medical team.   

Nutritional screening

To facilitate early identification of nutritional issues, nurses can implement validated malnutrition screening tool that can be used at each patient visit to help identify malnutrition risk at its earliest and most treatable stage. Examples of validated tools include the Malnutrition Screening Tool, NRS-2022, amongst others. Screening is an easy step to implement before conducting nutritional assessment to define patient needs and management strategies. 

Nutrition therapy should be an integrative part of cancer care. Oncology nurses have a key role to play in discuss nutritional issues and ensure they are addressed with adequate nutritional advice, nutritional interventions and referral to a dietitian or nutritionist.

Useful resources

Please find below a useful list of resources to inform nurses on nutritional management in cancer:

EONS Education

EONS Education Projects - EONS (European Oncology Nursing Society)  - a redirect to


Nutrition in people with cancer, a clinical practice guidance for cancer nurses, by European Oncology Nursing Society.

Please find below a useful list of resources guidelines for nutritional screening, assessment and intervention:

ESMO cachexia guidelines

ESMO recommends nutritional care as integral part of oncology practice (

Malnutrition Universal Screening Tool

Malnutrition Universal Screening Tool (

ESPEN practical guideline

ESPEN practical guideline: Clinical Nutrition in cancer - Clinical Nutrition (

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