Current activities

Cancer-related malnutrition and sarcopenia position statement

The cancer-related malnutrition and sarcopenia position statement was developed between 2019 and 2020 by a multidisciplinary working group of 23 health professionals and researchers with expertise in cancer across dietetics, exercise physiology, nursing and medical disciplines. The position statement is intended as an advocacy document for health professionals and health services to guide optimal care of cancer-related malnutrition and sarcopenia. The next steps for the group will be to work on supporting implementation of the position statement into practice.

Update of evidence-based guidelines for nutritional management of head and neck cancer

The Nutrition Group are currently updating evidence-based guidelines for the nutritional management of adults with head and neck cancer supported by a small grant from Goldman Sachs. This update will involve updating content to include studies from the past 5 years as well as implementation of wiki platform functionalities to support guideline maintenance and sustainability. The evidence-based nutrition guidelines were initially published in 2011 with funding from the Cancer Institute NSW and led by Merran Findlay, A/Professor Judy Bauer and Dr Teresa Brown.

Past activities

Survey

The Nutrition Group undertook a survey of cancer clinicians between November 2018 and January 2019 to determine awareness, perceptions and practices regarding cancer-related malnutrition and sarcopenia. The results of the survey helped inform the content of the position statement with the intention to undertake a further survey following implementation of the cancer-related malnutrition and sarcopenia position statement to determine changes in awareness and practice.

Dietitians Australia

In 2018 Dietitians Australia joined COSA as an affiliated organisation. This partnership has supported an increase in collaborative activities across the two organisations to address improvements in the management of nutrition in people with cancer. A regular activity between the organisations is a Dietitians Australia funded external research prize for the highest quality abstract presented by a dietitian at the COSA ASM. Members of Dietitians Australia Oncology Interest Group also formed part of the working group in cancer-related malnutrition and sarcopenia.

CPD events

The Nutrition Group regularly hold pre-conference professional development workshops at COSA ASMs. Workshops have previously been held on:

  • Nutrition and cancer masterclass for nurses (2017)
  • Cancer-related malnutrition (2014)
  • Implementing the evidence based guidelines for nutritional management of head and neck cancer (2011)