Cancer care


Welcome to the healthcare professional pages of Cancer care. Here you’ll find a range of valuable information relating to the topic of cancer-related malnutrition and cachexia, including articles, clinical guidelines and products.

About medical nutrition

19.3 million new cancer cases in 2020[1]; malnutrition affects up to 80% cancer patients[2].

An integral part of cancer care

It is well known that cancer patients who maintain a healthy weight are likely to have better treatment outcomes3. But this can be hard thing to achieve when numerous factors can negatively affect their ability to get enough of the right nutrition. Reduced food intake due to treatment-related taste alterations and nausea, together with increased catabolic metabolism, can leave many patients malnourished and/or cachexic4-13. Medical nutrition has a clinically proven role in improving nutritional status and so helping cancer patients maintain weight14, which can give their primary treatment the best possible chance of success.


Oncology portfolio

There are health challenges adults may experience which can be managed or improved with medical nutrition (for use under healthcare professional supervision only). The Nutricia products shown from this point onwards are foods for special medical purposes and intended for the nutritional management of diseases and related medical conditions.

Fortimel Compact Protein

Fortimel Compact Protein is a food for special medical purposes, a high protein, high energy, oral nutritional supplement. Available in sensory adapted flavours designed specifically for cancer patients experiencing taste alterations.


How does Fortimel Compact Protein address taste changes?

Fortimel Compact Protein includes a sensational range of five tailor-made flavors designed to support cancer patients struggling with sensory alterations.

Clinical guidelines

Clinical guidelines

The ESPGHAN Committee on Nutrition has reviewed the evidence on feeding and monitoring these infants post discharge and have made available a series of recommendations for those who care for them.



Replay Nutricia EONS15 symposium on patient-centered care in nutrition

Replay Nutricia EONS15 symposium “Person-centred interprofessional practice in nutrition – from dream to reality.” Nurses play a crucial role in patient centered care in oncology, including prevention, recognition and management of nutritional challenges. Learn more about nutritional care in oncology at the EONS15 congress.


Discover rich educational content from Nutricia’s presence at ESPEN 2022

If you missed the Nutricia Satellite Symposium at ESPEN, don’t miss the opportunity to watch top experts outline the value of muscle as the effective target organ for nutritional intervention in cancer, stroke and frailty. In addition, no less than 8 expert educational sessions were held covering diverse topics on nutritional care in the areas of intensive care medicine, oncology, protein quality and enteral feeding. Get access to the recordings now.


Continued learning enables us all to deliver the best possible care to those who need it most. Here we bring science-led educational resources as well as news from leading medical congresses, helping to stay up-to-date with the latest advances in medical nutrition.

Patient story

Jonathan’s story

Jonathan was diagnosed with mantle cell lymphoma, one of the most aggressive forms of cancer, not once but twice. This is the story of his journey, from diagnosis, through two rounds of grueling treatments and into recovery. Jonathan is now cancer free. Watch the video and find out more about his experience, including the positive steps he took to keep his body as strong as it could be throughout, including the role of medical nutrition.

Feature articles


Taste alterations and weight loss

Sensory changes in cancer contribute to weight loss and malnutrition, increasing the risk of poor clinical outcomes15-21. Sensory-adapted oral nutritional supplements, such as the Fortimel Compact Protein Sensational flavor range, have been designed and validated with cancer patients experiencing taste and smell alterations.

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. 

Protein is an important nutrient at every stage of the cancer journey

Protein is an important nutrient at every stage of the cancer journey. In patients with cancer, the need for protein is higher than for healthy adults, and cancer patients often fail to consume sufficient protein33-35. Low protein intake can lead to low muscle mass, fatigue and even poorer survival in patients with cancer36-39. Therefore, ensuring sufficient protein with high protein oral nutritional supplements can improve clinical outcomes40-45

Tastes can change, outcomes shouldn't

Up to 70% of cancer patients experience taste and smell alterations[33]. Sensory changes in cancer contribute to weight loss and malnutrition, increasing the risk of poor clinical outcomes[8,9,34-39]. Sensory-adapted oral nutritional supplements, such as the Fortimel Compact Protein Sensational flavor range, have been designed and validated with cancer patients experiencing taste and smell alterations.

ESSO collaboration

Nutricia works hard to make a positive and proven difference to patients' lives, by supporting patients, carers and societies throughout their journey with cancer and helping to deliver a better quality of life. We do so by collaborating with societies like ESSO (European Society for Surgical Oncology), to drive better nutritional support in cancer care. 

Nutricia adult oncology female patient

Consequences of weight loss during cancer

Weight loss can affect the success of treatment22. At Danone Nutricia Research, we work with cancer specialists, academic institutions, as well as cancer patients themselves, in order to develop nutritional solutions that address patients’ needs. 



Cancer-related malnutrition and loss of lean body mass (‘cachexia’) are common and associated with poor outcomes for the patient. Find out more about the causes and consequences, as well as the aim of nutritional interventions at Danone Nutricia Research.

  1. Ferlay J, et al, eds. Global Cancer Observatory: Cancer Today. Accessed March 2022
  2. Laviano A, et al. Nutrition 1996;12:358-71.
  3. Martin L, et al. J Clin Oncol 2015;33(1):90-9
  4. Fearon, et al. 2011 Lancet Oncol 12(5):489-95.
  5. Arends, et al. 2017 Clin Nutr 36, 1187-96.
  6. Baracos, V, et al. Nat Rev Dis Primers. 2018;4:17105.
  7. Argilés JM, et al. BMJ Open Gastroenterol. 2016;18;3(1):e000097.
  8. Spotten et al. 2Ann Oncol. 2017;28(5):969-84.
  9. Nejatinamini et al. Nutr Cancer. 2017;70(3) 474-82.
  10.  Nejatinamini et al. Nutrients. 2018;10(9): 1236.
  11.  Churilla TM, et al. BMJ Open. 2011;1(2):e000397.
  12.  Ströhle A, et al. Oncology Reports. 2010;24(4):815-28.
  13.  Mardas et al. Support Care Cancer. 2015;24(6):2619-25.
  14.  TBC
  15.  Drareni K, et al. Semin Oncol. 2019;46:160-72.
  16.  Brisbois TD, et al. J Pain Symptom Manage. 2011;41:673-83.
  17.  Boltong A, et al. Support Care Cancer. 2012;20:2765-74.
  18.  McGreevy J, et al. Support Care Cancer. 2014;22:2635-44.
  19.  Turcott JG, et al. Nutr Cancer. 2016;68:241-9.
  20.  Belqaid K, et al. Acta Oncol. 2014;53:1405-12.
  21.  Bressan V, et al. Support Care Cancer. 2017;25:1699-1712.
  22.  AS Ahmad, et al. Br J Cancer, 2015;112(5): 943–7.

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