Proinflammatory Cytokines: Their Role in Multifactorial Cancer Cachexia

  • Giovanni Mantovani
  • Clelia Madeddu


Cancer-related anorexia-cachexia syndrome (CACS) may result from circulating factors produced by the tumour or by the host immune system in response to the tumour, such as cytokines released by lymphocytes and/or monocyte/ macrophages. A number of proinflammatory cytokines, including interleukin (IL)-1, IL-6, tumour necrosis factor (TNF)-α, interferon (IFN)α and IFN-γ, have been implicated in the pathogenesis of cachexia associated with human cancer. TNF-α was first identified by Rouzer and Cerami [1] as a specific circulating mediator of the wasting resulting from a chronic experimental infectious disease. It was named cachectin and was subsequently found to be identical to TNF-α. However, data from numerous clinical and laboratory studies suggest that the action of cytokines, although important, may not alone explain the complex mechanism of CACS [2] [5]. IL-1 and TNF-α have been proposed as mediators of the host’s response to inflammation [6].


Proinflammatory Cytokine Epithelial Ovarian Cancer Cancer Cachexia ECOG Performance Status Decrease Food Intake 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Italia 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Giovanni Mantovani
    • 1
  • Clelia Madeddu
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Medical OncologyUniversity of CagliariCagliariItaly

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