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Nutrition and quality of life in pancreatic cancer patients




Awareness and Diagnosis; Treatment


Thursday, 18 November 2021, Online


Clinical nutritionas part of the treatment pathway of pancreatic cancer patients, Alfredo Carrato MD, PhD


Nutrition and quality of life in pancreatic cancer patients,

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MEP Tomislav Sokol, EU Parliament Intergroup Challenge

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Panel Questions & Answers

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Nutrition and pancreatic cancer

The idea

In the last years, there have been several initiatives to raise awareness on nutrition for cancer patients, as it is a crucial component of care, treatment and rehabilitation. Malnutrition in cancer patients leads to poorer health outcomes and, also, it results in an increased burden to healthcare resources. In pancreatic cancer (the fourth leading cause of cancer deaths in both genders) more than 80% of patients have a significant weight loss at the time of diagnosis and develop severe cachexia over time. Therefore, early, aggressive nutritional support is essential. Actual available nutritional therapies, such as enteral nutrition, parenteral nutrition and special nutritional supplements have a beneficial effect on nutritional status, quality of life and even on patients survival. The good nutrition status of these patients makes them better support neoadjuvant therapy, the surgical treatment by providing less postoperative morbidity (fistulas and infections), less hospital stay and earlier start of adjuvant therapy. Major pancreatic radical resections with curative intent have many nutrition-related side effects on the patients, including the development of pancreatic enzyme insufficiency, micronutrient deficiencies, diabetes, fatty liver, and metabolic bone disease.

The key message was: early nutrition care plays an important role in pancreatic cancer treatment, being crucial before, during, and after multidisciplinary management.

Pancreatic cancer patients need more support on nutrition, as side effects or symptoms such as loss of appetite, malabsorption, nausea and vomiting can cause a patient to consume fewer calories than the body needs to maintain an appropriate weight.

Weight loss and malnutrition can have a significant impact on quality of life, daily functioning,

response to treatment, length of hospital stays and complications such as infections.

All in all the event aimed to rally pancreatic cancer stakeholders and MEPs to meet and discuss the importance of nutrition as a crucial factor for the quality of life of pancreatic cancer patients from the very first moment after the diagnosis.

The programme

MEP Margarita de la Pisa Carrión, EU Parliamentary Intergroup Challenge Cancer:

Welcome message

Prof Alfredo Carrato, PCE Chairperson, Keynote speech on Clinical nutrition as part of

the treatment pathway of pancreatic cancer patients: an expert consensus

Panel: Nutrition and quality of life in pancreatic cancer patients

Mrs Patrycja Rzadkowska, EuropaColon Poland

Prof Carlo La Vecchia, University of Milan, Italy

Prof Ilse Rooman, Vrije Universiteit Brussel and Anticancer Fund, Belgium

Mrs Cristina Sandín, Asociación Cancer de Pancreas, Spain

Dr Pierre Senesse, Cancer Institute of Montpellier, France

Dr Alfredo Budillon, Istituto Nazionale Tumori- IRCCS G. Pascale of Naples, Italy

Mrs Hana Horca, EC Europe’s beating cancer plan Taskforce: The European Commission

future steps for beating Pancreatic cancer 

MEP Tomislav Sokol, EU Parliamentary Intergroup Challenge Cancer: European policies for pancreatic cancer patients’ quality of life

Conclusions and closing of the event

The event is supported by