TRC Conversation: Nutritional Support for Oncology Patients

Apr 7, 2015

Interventions from specialists in the Oncology Therapeutic Resource Center® help patients have safer treatment outcomes.

  • Cancer

What Happened?

A woman with kidney cancer was prescribed two orally administered oncology medications, Nexavar® (sorafenib) and Sutent® (sunitinib malate).

These drugs caused the patient to experience adverse side effects including loss of appetite, contributing to weight loss of 47 pounds.

Specialist Intervention

An Accredo oncology dietitian reached out to the patient and reviewed her prescription history and overall therapy.

She found that the patient’s loss of appetite was compromising her nutritional status.

Symptom management is an important part of cancer care and treatment. The oncology dietitian reviewed ways to maximize dietary intake to ensure proper nutrition such as small meals every 1-2 hours and good hydration.

The dietitian also reviewed nutritional tips for taste alteration and side effect management.

Preventing Gaps in Care

Complicated regimens and adverse side effects often influence patient nonadherence to oncology treatment.

After speaking with the dietitian, the patient was equipped with a plan to ensure she would be adherent to her treatment plan.

Why It Matters

Oncology specialist nurses and pharmacists have the training and experience necessary to identify causes that may lead to therapy failure and resistance. Specialty nurses will interact with the patient and the patient’s healthcare team to address such things as drug interactions, side effects, abnormal doses and therapy omissions. Therapy failure and resistance can lead to increased costs and decreased quality of life due to potential worsening of the condition and hospitalization.

A strong roster of specialist nurses focusing on patients with needs in a specific area, like cancer, is one of the unique ways Express Scripts helps patients stay on the right treatment and avoid unnecessary, harmful, adverse events.

Click to download an overview of this conversation.

Author Bio

Lab Staff
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