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Cancer Cachexia: Definition, Staging, and Emerging Treatments

Authors Ni J, Zhang L

Received 11 May 2020

Accepted for publication 26 June 2020

Published 9 July 2020 Volume 2020:12 Pages 5597—5605

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/CMAR.S261585

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 4

Editor who approved publication: Dr Sanjeev Srivastava


Jun Ni, Li Zhang

Department of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Peking Union Medical Hospital, Chinese Academy of Medical Science & Peking Union Medical College, Beijing 100730, People’s Republic of China

Correspondence: Li Zhang
Department of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Peking Union Medical Hospital, Chinese Academy of Medical Science & Peking Union Medical College, Beijing 100730, People’s Republic of China
Tel +86 13911339836
Fax +86 10-69158760
Email zhanglipumch1026@sina.com

Abstract: Cachexia is a multifactorial disease characterized by weight loss via skeletal muscle and adipose tissue loss, an imbalance in metabolic regulation, and reduced food intake. It is caused by factors of catabolism produced by tumors in the systemic circulation as well as physiological factors such as the imbalanced inflammatory activation, proteolysis, autophagy, and lipolysis that may occur with gastric, pancreatic, esophageal, lung cancer, liver, and bowel cancer. Cancer cachexia not only negatively affects the quality of life of patients with cancer but also reduces the effectiveness of anti-cancer chemotherapy and increases its toxicity, leading to increased cancer-related mortality and expenditure of medical resources. Currently, there are no effective medical interventions to completely reverse cachexia and no approved drugs. Adequate nutritional support is the main method of cachexia treatment, while drugs that target the inhibition of catabolism, cell damage, and excessive activation of inflammation are under study. This article reviews recent advances in the diagnosis, staging, and evaluation of cancer cachexia.

Keywords: cancer cachexia, disease staging, metabolic dysfunction

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