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Nutrition and quality of life in pancreatic cancer patients


18 Nov 2021 15:30


Health & Consumers

Event Description


In the last years, there have been several initiatives1 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 benefic effect on nutritional status, quality of life and even on patients survival.

The good nutrition status of these patients makes them support better the 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 is: 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.


The event will be organised on the occasion of World Pancreatic Cancer Day 2021, which takes place on Thursday, 18 November 2021; the event will be on line only, from 15:30 to 17:00 CET. It aims 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.

Proposed guests

 MEPs Challenge Cancer Intergroup

 Cancer institutes

 PCE’s active members

 Partners, and their networks, of WP8 - Challenges in Cancer Care and WP10 - Governance of Integrated and Comprehensive Cancer Care of the Innovative Partnership For Action Against Cancer (iPAAC)

 Scientific organisations and non-profit organisations: European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO), All.Can, European Cancer Organisation (ECO), World Pancreatic Cancer Coalition (WPCC), NACRE

 National medical societies

 Other interested stakeholders


15:15     Link to the event open

15:30     Maria Luisa Pagano, PCE Moderator: Opening

15:35     MEP Margarita de la Pisa Carrión, EU Parliamentary Intergroup Challenge Cancer: Welcome message

15:40     Prof Alfredo Carrato, PCE Chairperson, Keynote speech on Clinical nutrition as part of the treatment pathway of pancreatic cancer patients: an expert consensus

15:50     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 Sandin, Asociacion Cancer de Pancreas, Spain

Dr Pierre Senesse, Cancer Institute of Montpellier, France

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

16:30     Q&A

16:45     Mrs Hana Horca, EC Europe’s beating cancer plan Taskforce: The European Commission future steps for beating Pancreatic cancer (tbc)

16:55     MEP Tomislav Sokol, EU Parliamentary Intergroup Challenge Cancer: European policies for pancreatic cancer patients’ quality of life

17:00     Conclusions and closing of the event

Contacts and registration

PCE Secretariat

REGISTER HERE before 12 November 2021 – Thanks!