Treatment of cachexia: an overview of recent developments

Stephan von Haehling, Stefan D Anker
Journal of the American Medical Directors Association 2014, 15 (12): 866-72
Body wasting in the context of chronic illness is associated with reduced quality of life and impaired survival. Recent clinical trials have investigated different approaches to improve patients' skeletal muscle mass and strength, exercise capacity, and survival in the context of cachexia and body wasting, many of them in patients with cancer. The aim of this article was to summarize clinical trials published over the past 2 years. Therapeutic approaches discussed include appetite stimulants, such as megestrol acetate, L-carnitine, or melatonin, anti-inflammatory drugs, such as thalidomide, pentoxyphylline, or a monoclonal antibody against interleukin-1α as well as ghrelin and the ghrelin agonist anamorelin; nutritional support, and anabolics, such as enobosarm and testosterone.

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