About 85 percent of people with cancer are malnourished, especially those with lung and gastrointestinal tumors or advanced disease. Poor nutrition can hinder a patient’s response to chemotherapy, prolong hospitalization, and shorten their life.
Omar Ishaq, MD, chief resident in the Department of Radiation Oncology at NYU Langone and Perlmutter Cancer Center, recently launched a clinical trial that, for the first time, will study how specially created meals delivered to cancer patients in their homes might reduce the impact of side effects from treatment, and keep patients out of the hospital.
“Even though patients are getting the very latest in cancer therapies, many of them stop eating,” Dr. Ishaq tells The Wall Street Journal. “They end up staying in the hospital and have more complications from treatment.”
Dr. Ishaq says cancer care providers have been pursuing meal programs more and more lately for late-stage cancer patients, but the idea has not yet been carefully studied. Past research and news coverage have all focused on nutrition meant to prevent cancer, not make it easier to bear.
Read more from The Wall Street Journal (subscription required).