katie benton

Dietitian Katie Benton: ‘Nutrition plays such a key role’ in patient care

Katie Benton is a dietitian specialising in cancer nutrition who has been working in the area of GI cancer for the past eight years.

“One of the main things that drew me to oncology was being able to have such a big impact from a dietetic point of view,” she says. “To assist patients when they make the link between their ability to have increased energy levels or get through their treatment, or interact with their family. Just keeping up energy with their nutrition plays such a key role.”

Keeping up nutrition in GI cancer patients also presents unique challenges. “Often patients are subjected to feeding tubes or living off oral supplements, so trying to make that the best you can for the patient is important.”

Katie joined the AGITG’s Upper GI Working Party with fellow dietitian Belinda Steer. Together, they have presented at the ASM on areas of research in upper GI cancer, and how to include nutrition in AGITG trials. They have also contributed to information for patients and consumers around the best nutrition for cancer patients.

One of the key areas of current research related to nutrition that Katie believes could have a significant impact on patients is body composition.

“There’s lots of research going into body composition and sarcopenia. It’ll be really fascinating to see some outcomes around that, so that nutrition trials can be tailored around patients’ body composition, which would then affect their overall tolerance or suitability for chemotherapy.”

By providing input on research from a dietetic perspective, Katie and Belinda work to ensure that patients on AGITG trials receive the best possible quality of care.

A full list of working party members is available here.