Prevalence of Cachexia

Prof Muscaritoli on the Premio study and cachexia prevalence in patients with cancer

Prof. Maurizio Muscaritoli on the Premio study and the prevalence of cancer cachexia

Key terms

cachexia prevalence
cancer cachexia
gastric cancer
pancreatic cancer
lung cancer
esophageal cancer (oesophageal)
PreMiO study
epidemiological study
weight loss
metastatic disease

Video transcript

The prevalence of cachexia and malnutrition in cancer patients may vary according to the type of tumor and the phase during which the patients are studied.

We now have data coming from a national epidemiological study we ran in Italy called the Premio study (Premio means Prevalence of Malnutrition in Oncology – PreMiO) which is quite a novel concept since we studied patients at their first medical oncology visit. This was an epidemiological study carried on by the Italian society of artificial nutrition and metabolism (The Italian Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition – SINPE) and the Italian association of medical oncology (Italian Association of Medical Oncology – AIOM) and gave very interesting results since we found that 62% of patients undergoing their first medical oncology visit (so not treated before) already had weight-loss.

The prevalence of malnutrition and the risk of malnutrition was high even in non-metastatic patients. The highest prevalence of malnutrition is of course in patients with pancreatic cancer, gastric esophageal cancer and lung cancer and the lowest prevalence is in breast cancer patients.

Interestingly even in patients with non-metastatic disease the prevalence of cachexia according to BMI and weight loss was significantly high and this underscores the need to implement early pathways for the prevention and treatment of nutritional deterioration during the cancer journey. These are patients who had not been treated previously and who are about to start the specific treatments with chemotherapy and radiotherapy which might further decrease their nutritional status.


“62% of patients undergoing their first medical oncology visit (so not treated before) already had weight-loss.”
Prof Maurizio Muscaritoli


PreMiO study

Prevalence of Malnutrition
in Oncology (PreMiO)


September 2016

Filmed during the 3rd
Cancer Cachexia Conference
Washington, DC
23-25 September 2016