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Nutritional and Drug Interventions for Management of Loss of Appetite in Cancer Patients

Trial Status: Active

This clinical trial examines a nutritional and drug intervention for managing loss of appetite in cancer patients. Loss of appetite is a common symptom and can cause distress which impacts patients and caregivers. Nutrition intervention may provide beneficial outcomes in terms of positive impact on nutrition status, physical function, quality of life, weight maintenance, and overall survival in cancer patients. This trial may help decrease the suffering and distress associated with eating during cancer treatment.

Inclusion Criteria

  • Patients with a diagnosis of head/neck, lung, pancreatic cancer, or metastatic disease of any solid primary malignancy.
  • Planned, ongoing, or recently treated patient (within the past 30 days) with radiation therapy, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, and/or intravenous targeted biologic therapy.
  • No previous use of appetite stimulants (steroid use for purposes other than appetite stimulant is allowed).
  • All patients must sign study specific informed consent prior to being included in the study.
  • No contraindication to appetite stimulants.

New York

Montefiore Medical Center-Weiler Hospital
Status: ACTIVE
Contact: Justin Tang
Phone: 718-920-7750


I. To establish the feasibility of implementing an algorithm for nutrition interventions in our cancer center.


I. To assess associations between appetite scores and general quality of life measures in cancer patients.

OUTLINE: Patients are assigned to 1 of 2 groups.

GROUP I: Patients with fair-good appetite (Council of Nutrition Appetite Questionnaire score [CNAQ] score > 24) receive nutrition intervention. Patient also completion questionnaires biweekly.

GROUP II: Patients with poor-fair appetite (CNAQ score < 24) receive nutrition intervention. Patients also receive dexamethasone orally (PO) once daily (QD) in the morning; medical marijuana (if history of marijuana use) or dronabinol; or mirtazapine PO QD at bedtime in the absence of unacceptable toxicity. Patients complete questionnaires weekly.

Trial Phase Phase NA

Trial Type Supportive care

Lead Organization
Montefiore Medical Center-Weiler Hospital

Principal Investigator
Justin Tang

  • Primary ID 2019-10218
  • Secondary IDs NCI-2021-09937
  • ID NCT04155008