JOURNAL ARTICLE
REVIEW

Mechanisms and treatment of cancer cachexia

J M Argilés, F J López-Soriano, S Busquets
Nutrition, Metabolism, and Cardiovascular Diseases: NMCD 2013, 23 Suppl 1: S19-24
22749678
According to a recent consensus, cachexia is a complex metabolic syndrome associated with underlying illness and characterised by loss of muscle with or without loss of fat mass. The prominent clinical feature of cachexia is weight loss. Cachexia occurs in the majority of terminal cancer patients and it is responsible for the deaths of 22% of cancer patients. Although body weight is, indeed, an important factor to be taken into consideration in any cachexia treatment, body composition, physical performance and quality of life should be monitored. From the results presented here, one can speculate that a single therapy may not be completely successful in the treatment of cachexia. From this point of view, treatments involving different combinations are more likely to be successful. The objectives of any therapeutical combination are two: an anticatabolic aim directed towards both fat and muscle catabolism and an anabolic objective leading to the synthesis of macromolecules such as contractile proteins.

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