The Role of Cytokines in Cancer Cachexia

  • Josep M. Argilés
  • Sílvia Busquets
  • Rodrigo Moore-Carrasco
  • Francisco J. López-Soriano


The cachectic syndrome, characterised by marked weight loss, anorexia, asthaenia, and anaemia, is invariably associated with the presence and growth of the tumour and leads to a malnutrition status due to the induction of anorexia or decreased food intake. In addition, the competition for nutrients between the tumour and the host leads to an accelerated starvation state that promotes severe metabolic disturbances in the host, including hypermetabolism, which leads to decreased energetic efficiency. Although the search for the cachectic factor(s) started a long time ago, and although many scientific and economic efforts have been devoted to its discovery, we are still far from a complete understanding of cancer cachexia. The chapter discusses the different signalling pathways, particularly the role of transcriptional factors, involved in muscle wasting. The main aim is to summarise and evaluate the different molecular mechanisms and catabolic mediators (both humoral and tumoural) involved in cancer cachexia, since they may represent targets for promising future clinical investigations.


Brown Adipose Tissue Leukaemia Inhibitory Factor Cancer Cachexia C2C12 Myoblast UCP3 mRNAs 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Italia 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Josep M. Argilés
    • 1
  • Sílvia Busquets
    • 1
  • Rodrigo Moore-Carrasco
    • 1
  • Francisco J. López-Soriano
    • 1
  1. 1.Cancer Research Group, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular BiologyUniversity of BarcelonaBarcelonaSpain

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