BACKGROUND: A frequent manifestation of advanced cancer patients is malnutrition, which is correlated with poor prognosis and high mortality. Bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA) is an easy-to-use and non-invasive technique to evaluate changes in body composition and nutritional status. We investigated BIA-derived phase angle as a prognostic indicator for survival in advanced cancer patients. METHODS: Twenty-eight patients treated at the hospice center of Seoul St. Mary's Hospital underwent BIA measurements from January, 2013 to May, 2013. We also evaluated palliative prognostic index (PPI) and palliative performance scale to compare with the prognostic value of phase angle. Cox's proportional hazard models were constructed to evaluate the prognostic effect of phase angle. The Kaplan Meier method was used to calculate survival. RESULTS: Using univariate Cox analysis, phase angle (hazard ratio [HR], 0.61/per degree increase; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.42 to 0.89; P = 0.010), PPI (HR, 1.21; 95% CI, 1.00 to 1.47; P = 0.048) were found to be significantly associated with survival. Adjusting age, PPI, body mass index, phase angle significantly showed association with survival in multivariate analysis (HR, 0.64/per degree increase; 95% CI, 0.42 to 0.95; P = 0.028). Survival time of patients with phase angle > or = 4.4degrees was longer than patients with phase angle < 4.4degrees (log rank, 6.208; P-value = 0.013). CONCLUSION: Our data suggest BIA-derived phase angle may serve as an independent prognostic indicator in advanced cancer patients.