Nutrition assessment and intervention is an important component of supportive care that is often overlooked as a part of the standards of care. The prevalence of malnutrition (i.e., undernutrition and overnutrition) has been the subject of many published papers which have found that up to 50 % of children and adolescents with cancer present with malnutrition, a prevalence that is affected by diagnosis, stage, socioeconomic status and nutritional index. Poor nutrition status has been associated with reduced survival and increased therapy-related side effects in patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, acute myelogenous leukemia, rhabdomyosarcoma and osteosarcoma. Current guidelines emphasize the practice of proactive nutrition therapy so as to avert the development of malnutrition, which may include the administration of enteral tube feeding. Nutrition assessment and intervention is a component of supportive care that should be offered throughout the spectrum of cancer care to optimize treatment delivery and outcomes and improve the quality of life of our patients. Here we review the evidence basis, consensus guidelines and expert opinion for the management of malnutrition in pediatric oncology.
KeywordsAcute Lymphoblastic Leukemia Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplant Percutaneous Endoscopic Gastrostomy Enteral Feeding Pediatric Oncology
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