Malnutrition in its broadest sense poses serious challenges in the management of children and adolescents throughout their cancer journey, from prior to diagnosis into long-term survivorship. Education and research are being conducted to improve understanding of the impact of cancer and its treatment on short- and long-term nutritional health, but there is a need for an international collaborative approach to address the optimal, achievable nutritional care of these patients. The SIOP Nutrition Network has been established to help close the gaps in education, research and clinical practice.
The Network’s main objective is to facilitate the incorporation of evidence-based nutritional practice into the care of children and adolescents with cancer in order to improve clinical outcomes e.g. reduced therapy-related toxicities, prolonged survival and enhanced quality of life. In particular, the network will:
- Develop and disseminate educational materials and support to health care professionals.
- Establish guidelines for the nutritional support of young people with cancer.
- Encourage the translation of knowledge about nutrition into clinical pediatric oncology practice.
- Facilitate networking and the exchange of research data on relevant issues in nutrition.
- Provide opportunity, including funding, for research projects related to nutrition in children and adolescents with cancer.