MASCC Nutrition and Cachexia Study Group


Chair: Egidio Del Fabbro, MD, United States
Vice-Chair: Tateaki Naito, MD, Japan

For more information or to contact Study Group Leaders, see our contact page.


The MASCC Nutrition Study Group encourages broad-based research and state-of-the-art clinical practice in all areas of clinical nutrition as it relates to cancer.


he Study Group aims to increase awareness of guidelines for the appropriate use of nutritional support in cancer patients and to promote appropriate use of palliative and therapeutic strategies in the management of anorexia and weight loss in patients with advanced cancer. The Group seeks to develop and coordinate new evidence-based guidelines and to further improve clinical practice by encouraging research in areas where scientific literature is lacking.
Within this broad purview, areas of focus include new and emerging management strategies and the use of nutrition-based complementary and alternative medicine therapies. Given its multinational nature, the Study Group maintains sensitivity, in all its endeavors, to cultural and economic differences in cancer populations around the world.
This Study Group serves as a resource to other Study Groups and all MASCC members, as well as to the broader research community, with respect to the development of both laboratory research and practice guidelines on clinical nutrition in relation to cancer.

2020 Pre-Conference Workshop

Oral Supportive Care for Older Adults with Cancer: How Do They Eat? What Do They Eat?
Chairs: Kıvanç Bektaş Kayhan, PhD, DDS, and Christopher Steer, MBChB, MD, FRCOG
This workshop will explore practical aspects and key issues in oral care and nutrition assessment of older adults with cancer. Three distinct perspectives will be represented: those of the oncologist, the dietitian, and the dentist. Oncology-related topics will include risks for orodental and nutritional problems in older adults with cancer and geriatric assessment as a supportive care strategy. Dietary topics will include nutritional issues and the role of the dietitian on the multidisciplinary team, nutritional assessment, and interventions, such as dietary modifications. Dental topics will include the impacts of poor oral health, how dentists assess oral health, and interventions for preventing and managing oral healthcare problems in this patient group. A practical interactive workshop is planned to ensure that participants learn the basics of oral health and dietary assessment. Oral health assessments are not currently performed routinely as part of a comprehensive geriatric assessment. The workshop will conclude with a group discussion of which oral health assessments can be recommended and a strategy for integrating this into routine care.

This workshop represents a collaboration between three Study Groups: Geriatrics, Nutrition and Cachexia, and Oral Care. It will take place on Thursday, June 25, from 8:00 to 11:00 am. Workshop attendance requires registration in addition to registration for the Annual Meeting. Register at the official 2020 Annual Meeting website.

Past Workshops


In February 2019, the Study Group offered a webinar, “The Cachexia Clinic — Building a Supportive Care Necessity.” The webinar, which featured speakers Egidio Del Fabbro, MD, Rony Dev MD, and Liz Isenring, PhD, was designed to present information and practical considerations for establishing and operating a cachexia clinic within a cancer center. Topics concerned service and team composition, assessment, management, and outcome measures.


Attitudes, Beliefs, and Behaviours of Australia Dietitians Regarding Dietary Supplements: A Cross-Sectional Survey. Members of the Study Group undertook this study, in which 231 Australian dietitians replied to an online survey. The results showed that a majority of respondents were interested in dietary supplements, yet tentative about integrating them into their clinical practice. A primary barrier to doing so was concerns about potential drug-supplement interactions. Nearly 90% of the respondents, however, reported that they were interested in receiving more training about dietary supplements. The study was published in Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice: Marx W, Kiss N, McKavanagh D, Isenring E. Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2016 Nov;25:87-91.
Nutrition Screening and Assessment: Views, Practices, and Behaviours of Healthcare Professionals Working with Patients in the Cancer Setting. The Study Group has also conducted an online survey on nutrition screening and assessment. The results will be provided at the 2019 MASCC/ISOO meeting and published in Supportive Care in Cancer.

Recent Member Publications

Recent Study Group member publications related to nutrition and cachexia in cancer patients.

For more information or to contact Study Group Leaders, see our contact page.