Research Article| Volume 46, ISSUE 11, P2074-2082, November 2020

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Nutritional assessment in surgical oncology: An ESSO-EYSAC global survey

Published:September 02, 2020DOI:



      The majority of cancer patients report malnutrition, with a significant impact on patient’s outcome. This study aimed to compare how nutritional assessment is conducted across different surgical oncology sub-specialties.


      Survey modules were designed for breast, hepato-pancreato-biliary (HPB), upper-gastrointestinal (UGI), sarcoma, peritoneal and surface malignancies (PSM) and colorectal cancer (CRC) surgeries to describe 4 domains: participants’ setting, evaluation of clinical factors, use of screening tools and clinical practice. Results were compared among sub-specialties and according to human development index (HDI) in the largest cohorts.


      Out of 457 answers from 377 global participants (62% European), 35.0% were from breast and 28.9% were from CRC surgeons. Although MDTs management is consistently reported (64–88%), the presence of a nutritionist/dietician ranges from 14.1% to 44.2%. Breast surgeons seldom evaluate albumin (25.6%) and weight loss (30.6%), opposite to HPB, PSM and UGI groups (>70%, p 0.044). Overall, responders declared that the use of screening tools is largely neglected, that nutritional status is often assessed by the surgeons and that nutrition is not consistently modified according to risk factors (range among groups respectively: 1.9%–25.6%, 33.1%–51.4%, 33.1%–60.5%). Less than 20% of breast surgeons assess patients before/after surgery, comparing to >60% of PSM surgeons. However, no statistical differences were documented comparing groups for the majority of the items of the 4 domains. Nutritional evaluation is more often conducted by breast surgeons in medium/low HDI countries comparing very high/high HDI (p 0.04).


      Nutritional assessment is largely neglected. These results identify target-issues for the implementation of clinical practice.


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