Protein calorie malnutrition, vitamin and other deficiencies and weight loss frequently develop in cancer patients. Although there is no evidence that aggressive nutritional management prolongs survival, it may improve the quality of life. Efforts should be made to maintain adequate daily caloric intake with appropriate food selection and with control of complications interfering with nutrition. In selected patients, intravenous hyperalimentation can provide adequate nutrition during potentially effective chemotherapy or radiotherapy. Elemental diets also may be a source of complete or supplemental nutrition. Further experience with both approaches will help to clarify their role in the nutritional management of the patient with advanced cancer.