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GBA new healthcare approaches - INTEGRATION program - Combined nutritional and physical activity intervention during oncological therapy

  • Project Leader: Prof. Dr. Sebastian Theurich
  • Affiliation: Department of Medicine III
  • Funding: 2020 to 2023

With the increase in life expectancy, cancer diseases have also increased over the past few decades. Today around every second German citizen will develop cancer at one point in his or her life. Thanks to modern diagnostic and therapeutic methods, people with cancer can also be treated much better.

The project is aimed at adults with a newly diagnosed cancer who are undergoing tumor therapy. Accompanying the therapy, they will receive a needs-oriented, intensified combined nutritional and exercise therapy. Nutritional therapy aims to avoid malnutrition and includes needs-based nutrition plans as well as cooking training. The exercise program takes place with the help of strength and endurance training equipment. In the INTEGRATION program, a group that takes part in this intensified and structured form of therapy is compared with a control group that receives the usual offers (i.e. nutritional advice and, if necessary, physiotherapy and recommendations on alternative nutrition and exercise options). Both groups are regularly analyzed for their nutritional status, their mobility and their quality of life. Both apparatus-based measurements and questionnaires are used. The project is funded for 43 months with a total of approx. 4.4 million euros.

In the event of success, it is possible to prove that the combination of demand-oriented nutritional and exercise therapy can be implemented in everyday clinical practice, thereby reducing the occurrence of therapy-related side effects and improving the feasibility of oncological therapy. In this case, the measures of the INTEGRATION program would be integrated into the outpatient treatment of people with cancer.

Source: GBA Innovationsfonds