Hormonal and Nutritional Factors Contributing to Tumour Cachexia
The majority of cancer patients lose weight (Nixon et al. 1980) and a proportion become emaciated to the point that they appear to die of starvation. This syndrome is known as cancer cachexia, the term cachexia being derived from the Greek words kaxos and hexis, meaning poor condition. The patient with cachexia is clinically characterised by the presence of anorexia, early satiety, severe weight loss, asthenia, anaemia and oedema (Caiman 1982). The importance of cachexia has been long recognised. As far back as 1932 Warren, in a post mortem study of 500 cancer patients, concluded that 22% of deaths were directly attributable to cachexia and this was the single most common cause of death in cancer patients. More recent studies (Inagaki et al. 1974) have suggested that this figure is closer to 10%, however, more than 50% of cancer deaths are attributable to sepsis, and there remains the complex relationship between nutritional depletion and a propensity to infection.
KeywordsCancer Cachexia Rest Energy Expenditure Negative Energy Balance Lipoprotein Lipase Activity Hospitalise Cancer Patient
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- Begg RW, Dickinson TE (1951) Systemic effects of tumour in force fed rats. Cancer Research ii:409–412Google Scholar
- Caiman KC (1982) Cancer cachexia. Br J Hosp Med 26:28–34Google Scholar
- Fearon KCH, Selby P, Shapiro D et al (1988a) Tumour necrosis factor production and its effects on triglyceride clearance in patients with cancer. Clin Nutr 7 [Suppl]:48Google Scholar
- Lindmark L, Bennegard K, Eden E, Ekman L, Schersten T, Svaninger G, Lundholm K (1984) Resting energy expenditure in malnourished patients with and without cancer. Gastrointestiology 87:402–408Google Scholar
- Plumb JA, Fearon KCH, Carter K, Burns HJG, Caiman KC (1987) Energy expenditure and protein synthesis rates in an animal model of cancer cachexia. Br J Cancer 56:194Google Scholar
- Preston T, Fearon KCH, Robertson I, East BW, Caiman KC (1987) Tissue loss during severe wasting in lung cancer patients. In: Ellis KJ, Yasumura S, Morgan WD (eds) In vivo body composition studies. Institute of Physical Sciences in Medicine, London, pp 60–69Google Scholar
- Theologides A (1977) Cancer cachexia. In: Winick M (ed) Current concepts in nutrition, vol 6. Wiley, New York, pp 75–94Google Scholar