Claire L. Donohoe, Aoife M. Ryan, and John V. Reynolds, Cancer Cachexia:Mechanisms and Clinical Implications, Gastroenterology Research and Practice, 2011, 601434, 2011, 13
Gastroenterology Research and Practice; 2011; 601434;
Cachexia is amultifactorial process of skeletal muscle and adipose tissue atrophy resulting in progressive weight loss. It is associated
with poor quality of life, poor physical function, and poor prognosis in cancer patients. It involves multiple pathways: procachectic
and proinflammatory signals from tumour cells, systemic inflammation in the host, and widespread metabolic changes (increased
resting energy expenditure and alterations in metabolism of protein, fat, and carbohydrate). Whether it is primarily driven by the
tumour or as a result of the host response to the tumour has yet to be fully elucidated. Cachexia is compounded by anorexia and
the relationship between these two entities has not been clarified fully. Inconsistencies in the definition of cachexia have limited the
epidemiological characterisation of the condition and there has been slow progress in identifying therapeutic agents and trialling
themin the clinical setting. Understanding the complex interplay of tumour and host factors will uncover new therapeutic targets.
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