Food4Health is a collaboration between EIT Health and EIT Food, that aims to mobilize major European players from industry, government, research and education, to improve the health and well-being of European citizens with innovations for healthy eating.
Cancer treatment can be very demanding on the body with side effects such as nausea and vomiting, and taste alterations; and, according to a study by Nitenberg et al, between 30 to 85% of people with cancer become malnourished during the course of their illness, depending on the type, location, stage of the tumor and treatment.
Malnutrition in cancer is associated with weight loss, predominantly due to cancer cachexia, a multi-factorial syndrome characterized by the ongoing depletion of muscle mass, with or without a loss of fat mass. This loss of muscle mass cannot be fully reversed by conventional nutritional support and leads to progressive functional decline.
Low muscle mass in cancer has a prevalence of 15%-60% and a causative factor for: Toxicity (dose limiting), shorter time to tumor progression, post-operative complications, and decreased survival.
Research has shown specific interventions through tailormade nutrition or physical activity programs may prevent cancer-related muscle loss and enable patients to benefit fully from cancer treatment.
The Food4Health project MuscleCancer aims to develop different solutions for the preservation of muscle mass in cancer patients that combine physical activity, eating habits and mobile applications.
Christine M’rini, VP of Science & Health Specialized Nutrition at Danone Nutricia Research, said, “We proudly join project MuscleCancer to contribute to the development of a mobile app that will be co-designed with patients, their caregivers and healthcare professionals. People-centric, innovative solutions like this one are key to ensuring cancer patients receive the nutritional support they need, and medical nutrition becomes an integral part of cancer care.”
The app being developed as part of project Muscle Cancer enables live monitoring of a patient’s medical status and their physical and nutritional needs. On the basis of this, the app will provide customized meal plans and workouts, tailored for each patient. These customized plans are centered around a patient’s needs and will contribute to their adherence to the nutrition they have been prescribed, positively impacting their quality of life.
Yu-Mi Lee, Food4Health Project Manager from EIT Food welcomed Danone Nutricia Research to the group, and said, “We are pleased Danone Nutricia Research is a contributor to project Muscle Cancer. Their expertise in medical nutrition and the positive impact it can have on both the treatment outcomes and well-being of cancer patients will be instrumental in defining different solutions for muscle mass preservation.”