As dietitians, we know that nutrition plays a critical role in cancer care – but nutrition is only one part of the clinical care puzzle. For our latest podcast, we’re joined by Jenelle Loeliger, Louise Moodie and Lauren Atkins from the Clinical Oncology Society of Australia’s (COSA) nutrition group. Jenelle, Louise and Lauren discuss screening, assessment and treatment of cancer-related malnutrition and sarcopenia across the hospital, private practice and rural settings. They also highlight the importance of the multidisciplinary team in providing quality and comprehensive care to these patients.


Jenelle Loeliger is an Advanced Accredited Practising Dietitian and is the joint Head of the Nutrition and Speech Pathology Department at Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre in Melbourne. More recently, she has temporarily stepped into the Director of Allied Health role where she supports a diverse range of Allied Health specialists who work in cancer care. Jenelle has been involved in the development of national evidence based nutrition oncology guidelines and position statements, and has provided leadership to the statewide program of work, the Victorian Cancer Malnutrition Collaborative (VCMC) since 2011.


Lauren Atkins is an Advanced Accredited Practising Dietitian with expertise in oncology and haematology. She has worked in cancer care and survivorship for over 10 years, co-founding her business, OnCore Nutrition after having spent her career working as a Senior Dietitian at Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, and The Royal Children’s Hospital Cancer Centre in Melbourne. She has vast experience in using good nutrition to help prevent, manage and overcome cancer, from diagnosis through to survivorship and palliation. She is a member of the COSA Nutrition Group Executive Committee and has been invited to contribute to national cancer care frameworks and present much of her research at national and international conferences. Lauren has undertaken advanced training in natural and integrative medicine to better advise individuals and groups on the safe and appropriate use of complementary therapies. Lauren also has her own free to access podcast, OnCore Nutrition Two Peas in a Podcast!


Louise Moodie is an Advanced Accredited Practicing Dietitian with 15 years clinical and leadership experience across the Northern Territory and Queensland.  While considering herself a specialist generalist, she has a strong interest, and experience, in oncology, and the provision of dietetic services to those living in rural, regional and remote areas, and to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.  She hopes her involvement with the COSA nutrition executive group will contribute to ensuring all Australians can access high quality dietetic services no matter their location.


In this episode, we discuss:

  • What malnutrition and sarcopenia are and how they impact an individual’s health
  • The many ways dietitians can work collaboratively within the multidisciplinary team to better support patients and their loved ones
  • How dietitians can support patient access to nutrition care in oncology
  • The resources, services and tools available to assist dietitians working in oncology
  • Advice for dietitians on keeping up-to-date with new nutrition research in oncology

Additional resources

Clinical Oncology Society of Australia (COSA) website

Victorian Cancer Malnutrition Collaborative (VCMC) website and resources

Free Malnutrition in Cancer eLearning program

World Cancer Research Fund Diet, Nutrition, Physical Activity and Cancer: a Global Perspective – The Third Expert Report

Allied Health Oncology Group (AHOG)

eviQ Treatment and eviQ Education

Allied Health Translating Research Into Practice (AH-TRIP)

Cancer Council Victoria Oncology Resource Guide for Dietitians

Cancer Council Nutrition and Cancer

PG-SGA/Pt-Global Platform

General cancer nutrition information  Nutrition Education Materials Online (NEMO)



  1. Kiss N, Loeliger J, Findlay M, et al. Clinical Oncology Society of Australia: Position statement on cancer-related malnutrition and sarcopenia. Nutr Diet. 2020;77(4):416-425.
  2. Isenring E, Zabel R, Bannister M, et al. Updated evidence-based practice guidelines for the nutritional management of patients receiving radiation therapy and/or chemotherapy. Nutr Diet. 2013;70(4):312-324.
  3. Findlay M, Bauer JD, Brown T, et al. Evidence-based practice guidelines for the nutritional management of adult patients with head and neck cancer. Sydney: Cancer Council Australia. Published 2011. Updated 19 June 2016. Accessed 18 March 2021.


  1. Sheean P, Gonzalez MC, Prado CM, McKeever L, Hall AM, Braunschweig CA. American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition Clinical Guidelines: The Validity of Body Composition Assessment in Clinical Populations. JPEN. 2020;44(1):12-43.
  2. Weimann A, Braga M, Carli F, et al. ESPEN Guideline: Clinical Nutrition in Surgery. Clin Nutr. 2017;36(3):623-650.
  3. Thompson KL, Elliott L, Fuchs-Tarlovsky V, Levin RM, Voss AC, Piemonte T. Oncology Evidence-Based Nutrition Practice Guideline for Adults. JAND. 2017;117(2):297-310 e247.
  4. Dort JC, Farwell DG, Findlay M, et al. Optimal Perioperative Care in Major Head and Neck Cancer Surgery With Free Flap Reconstruction: A Consensus Review and Recommendations From the Enhanced Recovery After Surgery Society. JAMA Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2017;143(3):292-303.
  5. Arends J, Bachmann P, Baracos V, et al. ESPEN guidelines on nutrition in cancer patients. Clin Nutr. 2017;36(1):11-48.

This podcast is not, and is not intended to be, medical advice, which should be tailored to your individual circumstances. This podcast is for your information only, and we advise that you exercise your own judgment before deciding to use the information provided. Professional medical advice should be obtained before taking action.  Please see here for terms and conditions.

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