Somatostatin and its analogues have diverse indications in the work—up and treatment of the cancer patient. These range from diagnosis and localization with octreotide scintigraphy to decreasing postoperative complications following pancreaticoduodenectomy for pancreatic cancer. In addition, somatostatin has direct inhibitory activity on the proliferation of some human cancer cells, and has been utilized as antineoplastic therapy.1 Despite its broad spectrum of activity in the cancer patient and its diverse inhibitory properties, the effect of somatostatin on cancer cachexia and protein metabolism in the cancer patient has not been defined. The purpose of this chapter is to provide a background on the properties and function of somatostatin in the cancer patient, and to discuss the effect somatostatin may have on metabolism in the tumor-bearing host. Experimental data from animal models will be presented which support the use of somatostatin anologues as a means for inhibiting hormonal secretion in the tumor-bearing host. This may have a significant impact on cancer cachexia.
KeywordsGrowth Hormone Irritable Bowel Syndrome Glucagon Secretion Cancer Cachexia Islet Cell Tumor
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