A Comparison of the Changes in Carbohydrate, Fat, and Protein Metabolism Occurring with Malignant and Benign Tumors and the Impact of Nutritional Support

  • Antonio C. L. Campos
  • Dan L. Waitzberg
  • Michael M. Meguid
Part of the Human Nutrition book series (HUNU, volume 7)


Cachexia is a common feature of advanced malignancy. In many patients, anorexia or alterations in gastrointestinal function seem to contribute to the observed weight loss. However, weight loss occurs in some patients even without an obvious cause, which is widely believed to be due to increased energy expenditure associated with the presence of a neoplasm. Although this concept has not been confirmed in a number of studies (Knox et al., 1983; Hansell et al., 1986), Lundholm et al. (1981a) suggested that anorexia is the primary event, based on data showing that food intake in cancer-bearing patients relative to matched controls is diminished. Data from animal experiments and pair-fed studies indicate that malignant tumor-or host-secreted factors may play a major role in weight loss by interfering with the normal carbohydrate, fat, and protein metabolism (Burt et al., 1983a; Devereux et al., 1985; Brennan, 1977; Heber et al., 1982; Norton et al., 1981; Pain et al., 1984; Warren et al.,1987). The changes in host metabolism induced by malignant tumors are in contrast with the effects of benign tumors. Although benign tumors demonstrate similar significant growth, they appear to cause little systemic disturbance unless endocrinologically active or anatomically strategically sited.


Total Parenteral Nutrition Cancer Cachexia Rest Energy Expenditure Ehrlich Ascites Tumor Cell Body Cell Mass 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Antonio C. L. Campos
    • 1
  • Dan L. Waitzberg
    • 1
  • Michael M. Meguid
    • 1
  1. 1.Surgical Metabolism and Nutrition Laboratory, Department of SurgeryUniversity HospitalSyracuseUSA

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