Pharmaco-Nutritional Supports for the Treatment of Cancer Cachexia

  • Max Dahele
  • Kenneth C. H. Fearon


Cancer cachexia is a major symptom burden for patients with cancer.Cachexia occurs in up to one half of all patients diagnosed with cancer [1] and is more frequent in patients with lung and upper-gastrointestinal cancer.Cancer cachexia results from the interaction of the host and the tumour. However, the nature of this interaction is incompletely understood [2] [5], including the dynamics of the host response (activation of the systemic inflammatory response, metabolic, immune and neuroendocrine changes) and those tumour characteristics or tumour-derived products that influence expression of the syndrome (e.g. proteolysis-inducing factor [PIF]). The relative importance of individual mediators and pathways in different patients or tumour types is unclear, as is the reason why individuals with apparently similar tumours should show considerable variation in their tendency to develop cachexia.As ability to discriminate the relative importance in vivo of different mediators improves, so too should the ability to develop appropriately targeted therapy.


Clin Oncol Darbepoetin Alfa Cancer Cachexia Creatine Supplementation North Central Cancer Treatment Group 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Italia 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Max Dahele
    • 1
  • Kenneth C. H. Fearon
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Clinical and Surgical Sciences (Surgery)The University of EdinburghRoyal InfirmaryUK

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