Preoperative Nutritional Optimization of the Oncology Patient: A Scoping Review

Brian C. Brajcich, Kyle Stigall, Danielle S. Walsh, Thomas K. Varghese, Annabel E. Barber, Kurt A. Kralovich, Annie B. Wescott, Barbara A. Pockaj, Clifford Y. Ko, Christine Laronga

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


BACKGROUND Malnutrition is common among patients with cancer and is a known risk factor for poor postoperative outcomes; however, preoperative nutritional optimization guidelines are lacking in this high-risk population. The objective of this study was to review the evidence regarding preoperative nutritional optimization of patients undergoing general surgical operations for the treatment of cancer. METHODS A literature search was performed across the Ovid (MEDLINE), Cochrane Library (Wiley), Embase (Elsevier), CINAHL (EBSCOhost), and Web of Science (Clarivate) databases. Eligible studies included randomized clinical trials, observational studies, reviews, and meta-analyses published between 2010 and 2020. Included studies evaluated clinical outcomes after preoperative nutritional interventions among adult patients undergoing surgery for gastrointestinal cancer. Data extraction was performed using a template developed and tested by the study team. RESULTS A total of 5,505 publications were identified, of which 69 studies were included for data synthesis after screening and full text review. These studies evaluated preoperative nutritional counseling, protein-calorie supplementation, immunonutrition supplementation, and probiotic or symbiotic supplementation. CONCLUSIONS Preoperative nutritional counseling and immunonutrition supplementation should be considered for patients undergoing surgical treatment of gastrointestinal malignancy. For malnourished patients, protein-calorie supplementation should be considered, and for patients undergoing colorectal cancer surgery, probiotics or symbiotic supplementation should be considered.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)384-394
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of the American College of Surgeons
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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