Novel investigational biologics for the treatment of cancer cachexia

Joseph D Ma, Sean F Heavey, Carolyn Revta, Eric J Roeland
Expert Opinion on Biological Therapy 2014, 14 (8): 1113-20

INTRODUCTION: Cancer cachexia is a complex multifactorial syndrome characterized by ongoing, irreversible skeletal muscle loss, leading to progressive functional impairment. Several investigational biologics targeting key inflammatory pathways and/or the myostatin/activin type II receptor pathway are in development.

AREAS COVERED: Novel therapies include ALD518, MABp1, IP-1510, OHR/AVR118, bimagrumab and REGN1033 and are discussed. For each investigational therapy, the mechanism of action, preclinical data, cachexia definition, indication and clinical data are discussed.

EXPERT OPINION: A critical look of the study protocols and two key challenges limiting the successful evaluation of these agents include: i) lack of a clinically meaningful cachexia definition; and ii) identification and treatment of cachexia in late stage. We describe our observations and clinical experience in an effort to redirect and promote successful strategies to evaluate these novel investigational biologics.

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