The Role of Appetite Stimulants for Cancer-Related Weight Loss

  • Jamie H. Von Roenn


Involuntary weight loss and its end-stage manifestation, the anorexia and cachexia syndrome, is a frequent complication of cancer. The incidence of weight loss varies both with the primary site of the malignancy and its stage. At presentation, 15–48% of cancer patients report weight loss, while more than 80% of those with advanced disease note involuntary weight loss [1]. A weight loss of as little as 5% from premorbid weight predicts a poor prognosis, particularly among patients with lymphoma, lung, breast or gastrointestinal malignancies. Weight loss of less than 5% adversely impacts survival, with the greatest effect seen in those patients with good performance status [1]. Involuntary weight loss adversely affects quality of life as well [2] [4].


Clin Oncol Terminal Cancer Patient Methylprednisolone Sodium Succinate Appetite Stimulant Appetite Stimulation 
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© Springer-Verlag Italia 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jamie H. Von Roenn
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Medicine, Division of Hematology/OncologyThe Feinberg School of Medicine of Northwestern University and the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center, Palliative Care and Home Hospice Program, Northwestern Memorial HospitalChicagoUSA

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