Nutritional assessment in overweight and obese patients with metastatic cancer: does it make sense?

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BackgroundObesity is causally related with tumor development, and thus, many cancer patients are overweight or obese at diagnosis. Whether these patients need regular nutritional assessment is not known. In the present study, we evaluated the utility of Mini Nutritional Assessment (MNA), a nutritional screening/assessment questionnaire, in overweight or obese patients with metastatic tumors.Patients and methodsOverweight or obese patients referred for initiation of systemic therapy in three cancer centers were eligible. Basic demographics and clinical data were recorded. MNA was completed at baseline and patients were divided into three groups: A (well nourished), B (at risk), and C (malnourished). Survival data were subsequently collected. The prevalence of malnutrition and prognostic significance were evaluated.ResultsIn total, 1469 patients with metastatic primaries were identified. Of them, 594 (41.9%) were overweight or obese and included in the analysis. According to MNA, almost 50% were at risk and around 12% were already malnourished at presentation. A significant difference in overall survival was found between groups [group A 17.8 (15.5–20.1) months, group B 8.2 (7.3–9.3) months, and group C 6.4 (3.2–9.6) months, P < 0.001]. Moreover, MNA was the only independent predictor of survival.ConclusionsOur findings support that a significant percentage of overweight or obese cancer patients may be at nutritional risk and this is moreover related with adverse prognosis. An MNA score could be used for the identification of this risk.

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