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Nutrition assessment defects in cancer clinical trials
  1. Ye Myint Aung1,
  2. Aynur Aktas1,
  3. Vishal Shroff2,
  4. Kunal Kadakia3,
  5. Jake Waldman1 and
  6. Declan Walsh1,4
  1. 1Supportive Oncology, Levine Cancer Institute, Charlotte, North Carolina, USA
  2. 2Internal Medicine, Atrium Health, Charlotte, North Carolina, USA
  3. 3Solid Tumor Oncology, Levine Cancer Institute, Charlotte, North Carolina, USA
  4. 4Hemby Family Foundation Endowed Chair in Supportive Oncology, Levine Cancer Institute, Charlotte, North Carolina, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Ye Myint Aung, Supportive Oncology, Levine Cancer Institute, Charlotte, North Carolina, USA; Lawrence.Aung{at}

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Malnutrition (MN) affects 50–80% of patients with cancer and is associated with altered body composition, impaired functional status and poor oncological outcomes for antineoplastic drug therapies, radiation and surgery. These outcomes include earlier death, excess symptom burden, higher costs, poor mobility and worse quality of life.1 MN can be characterised by unintentional weight loss, which may be evident even before any cancer treatment. MN occurs along a spectrum, wherein the cancer cachexia syndrome is the most severe.2 Validated tools exist to screen for MN risk throughout the cancer care continuum but are underused.3

Clinical trials may provide patients with new effective therapeutic options. Persons enrolled in clinical trials typically have malignancies that have been refractory to multiple standard-of-care regimens and often have advanced disease, which itself is associated with a high prevalence of MN.4 However, it is unclear how or when nutrition status is assessed and if any baseline nutrition data is reported in these trials.

To clarify this issue, we evaluated nutrition assessment reports in …

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  • Contributors YMA AA and DW contributed to the study concept and design. YMA AA and VS contributed to data abstraction and analysis. YMA, AA and JW wrote the first draft of manuscript. All authors commented on previous versions of the manuscript. All authors, YMA, AA, VS, KK, JW and DW agree to be accountable for ensuring the integrity and accuracy of the work, all authors have read and approved the final manuscript.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.