Food4Health project MuscleCancer

Tackling Muscle Mass Loss in Cancer Patients Through Nutrition Solutions and Lifestyle Interventions

Malnutrition is common in patients suffering from cancer. A combination of various factors, such as stress and pain, may diminish their nutrient intake during the illness. Moreover, in addition to the troubles caused by the disease, those associated with the treatments – more troublesome in terms of diet – must be taken into account. Taste and smell alterations, nausea, vomiting and, consequently, loss of appetite, result in lower energy intake with accelerated weight loss, generally, from muscle mass loss. This loss worsens the prognosis for patients. To be optimally fit to sustain treatment, patients need to be well-nourished.

The Food4Health project MuscleCancer looks to define different solutions for muscle mass preservation, involving aspects such as physical activity, eating habits and the development of mobile applications that respond to patients’ information, physical and nutrition monitoring needs.

Specific interventions through tailormade nutrition or physical activity programs may prevent cancer-related muscle loss. Yet, nutritional and physical interventions are not routinely prescribed or start too late. When muscle loss is already ongoing, the window of benefit may have passed. Demonstrating the benefit of such interventions and the best conditions to implement them creates the opportunity to integrate them in standard cancer treatment. This project will address the need for knowledge, service and validation of solutions for muscle mass preservation. This will be achieved via:

  • Tools to dynamically measure muscle mass
  • Tailormade medical nutritional solutions
  • Tailormade activity/exercise programs
  • Digital tools/services to enable and empower patients and healthcare professionals

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