The Role of Parenteral Nutrition for Incurable Cancer: Bridging Expectations and Reality

Bradley R. Salonen, Manpreet S. Mundi, Ryan T. Hurt, Sara L. Bonnes

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Purpose of Review: In this review, we examine the role for parenteral nutrition (PN) for nutritional support of patients with advanced, incurable cancer with an emphasis on bridging the divide between expectations and reality. Recent Findings: As the rates of cancer have continued to rise worldwide, the utility of PN has continued to be studied. Due to multiple reasons, high-quality research studies have been scarce, and much of the data is based on observational studies. The recent trend appears to support the use of PN in carefully selected patients. Importantly, the effect on quality of life also should be considered when deciding to initiate PN. Summary: PN can be a supportive lifeline for patients with advanced, incurable cancer. The medical team should consider each patient individually to decide if PN should be offered. It is of paramount important for the medical team to engage in shared decision-making with the patient and caregiver(s) to ensure that PN is aligned with their goals and wishes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)226-231
Number of pages6
JournalCurrent nutrition reports
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2021


  • Cancer
  • Home parenteral nutrition
  • Parenteral nutrition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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