30-85% of patients undergoing cancer treatment suffer from malnutrition.
Weight loss in cancer patients is predominantly due to the depletion of muscle mass that characterises cancer cachexia. A multi-factorial syndrome that is characterised by an ongoing loss of skeletal muscle mass, with or without a loss of fat mass, that cannot be fully reversed by conventional nutritional support and leads to progressive functional decline.
This loss can negatively affect patient quality of life and, importantly, treatment success. Maintaining muscle mass is therefore of critical importance in enabling patients to fully benefit from cancer treatment.
Food4Health MuscleCancer project
Food4Health is a collaboration between EIT Health and EIT Food, that aims to mobilise major European players from industry, government, research and education, to improve the health and well-being of European citizens with innovations for healthy eating.
The project MuscleCancer aims to address the challenge of muscle loss in cancer patients by incorporating nutrition and exercise into cancer treatment programs to prevent malnutrition and muscle mass loss.
Christine M’rini VP of Science & Health Specialized Nutrition at Danone Research & Innovation comments: “We proudly join project MuscleCancer to contribute to the development of a mobile app that will be co-designed with patients, their caregivers and healthcare professionals. People-centric, innovative solutions like this one are key to ensuring cancer patients receive the nutritional support they need and medical nutrition becomes an integral part of cancer care.”
Digital tools to empower cancer patients during their treatment in nutritional and physical activity
As part of the MuscleCancer project Food4Health will develop an app co-designed with patients, family caregivers and health care providers that will facilitate access to information that is truthful, accurate and reliable.
To carry out this task AZTI, BeYou and Danone Research & Innovation joined forces.
AZTI has experience in sensory and consumer science and cancer related nutrition and will provide scientifically proven content about tips for treatments side-effects and nutritional recommendations, whereas BeYou applied its experience in design thinking, mobile apps development and the use of innovative gamification algorithms to create custom-fit nutrition and wellness solutions.
At Danone Research & Innovation we study specific nutrients and their potential roles in improving outcomes for cancer patients, for this project we will bring our expertise in behaviour, consumer and sensory sciences.
In particular we contributed to the project by providing patient and healthcare professional insights that support a user centric design of the app.
Yu-Mi Lee, Food4Health Project Manager from EIT Food welcomes Danone Research & Innovation saying: “We are pleased Danone Research & Innovation is a contributor to project Muscle Cancer. Their expertise in medical nutrition and the positive impact it can have on both the treatment outcomes and well-being of cancer patients will be instrumental in defining different solutions for muscle mass preservation.”
Co-creation with cancer patients and health care professionals
The functionalities of the app have been defined in co-creation with cancer patients and health care professionals, through focus groups and questionnaires conducted in Spain by AZTI and Danone Research & Innovation.
Based on the feedback received, the partners worked on a solution that fills a market gap and addresses patient and healthcare professional needs. There’s clear need for a trusted digital solution to help cancer patient’s self-manage their nutrition, physical activity and enhance their emotional wellbeing.
Accordingly, BeYou created a mobile app prototype that enables cancer patients to receive personalized nutrition plans, physical activity recommendations and general nutrition and motivational tips.
By doing so, together we hope to improve the adherence of cancer patients to nutrition and physical activity recommendations, reducing the impact of malnutrition and promote a better overall quality of life.
For a more detailed description of project, please visit the Food4Health website:
Find out more about our research into oncology: https://www.danoneresearch.com/oncology/
Find out more about our User eXperience expertise: https://www.danoneresearch.com/user-experience