Cancer-associated cachexia

Vickie E. Baracos, Lisa Martin, Murray Korc, Denis C. Guttridge, Kenneth C.H. Fearon

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

14 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Cancer-associated cachexia is a disorder characterized by loss of body weight with specific losses of skeletal muscle and adipose tissue. Cachexia is driven by a variable combination of reduced food intake and metabolic changes, including elevated energy expenditure, excess catabolism and inflammation. Cachexia is highly associated with cancers of the pancreas, oesophagus, stomach, lung, liver and bowel; this group of malignancies is responsible for half of all cancer deaths worldwide. Cachexia involves diverse mediators derived from the cancer cells and cells within the tumour microenvironment, including inflammatory and immune cells. In addition, endocrine, metabolic and central nervous system perturbations combine with these mediators to elicit catabolic changes in skeletal and cardiac muscle and adipose tissue. At the tissue level, mechanisms include activation of inflammation, proteolysis, autophagy and lipolysis. Cachexia associates with a multitude of morbidities encompassing functional, metabolic and immune disorders as well as aggravated toxicity and complications of cancer therapy. Patients experience impaired quality of life, reduced physical, emotional and social well-being and increased use of healthcare resources. To date, no effective medical intervention completely reverses cachexia and there are no approved drug therapies. Adequate nutritional support remains a mainstay of cachexia therapy, whereas drugs that target overactivation of catabolic processes, cell injury and inflammation are currently under investigation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number17105
JournalNature Reviews Disease Primers
Volume4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 18 2018

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Cachexia
Neoplasms
Inflammation
Adipose Tissue
Skeletal Muscle
Drug Therapy
Muscles
Tumor Microenvironment
Nutritional Support
Lipolysis
Immune System Diseases
Autophagy
Esophageal Neoplasms
Pancreatic Neoplasms
Energy Metabolism
Proteolysis
Stomach
Myocardium
Central Nervous System
Eating

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

Baracos, V. E., Martin, L., Korc, M., Guttridge, D. C., & Fearon, K. C. H. (2018). Cancer-associated cachexia. Nature Reviews Disease Primers, 4, [17105]. https://doi.org/10.1038/nrdp.2017.105

Cancer-associated cachexia. / Baracos, Vickie E.; Martin, Lisa; Korc, Murray; Guttridge, Denis C.; Fearon, Kenneth C.H.

In: Nature Reviews Disease Primers, Vol. 4, 17105, 18.01.2018.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Baracos, VE, Martin, L, Korc, M, Guttridge, DC & Fearon, KCH 2018, 'Cancer-associated cachexia', Nature Reviews Disease Primers, vol. 4, 17105. https://doi.org/10.1038/nrdp.2017.105
Baracos VE, Martin L, Korc M, Guttridge DC, Fearon KCH. Cancer-associated cachexia. Nature Reviews Disease Primers. 2018 Jan 18;4. 17105. https://doi.org/10.1038/nrdp.2017.105
Baracos, Vickie E. ; Martin, Lisa ; Korc, Murray ; Guttridge, Denis C. ; Fearon, Kenneth C.H. / Cancer-associated cachexia. In: Nature Reviews Disease Primers. 2018 ; Vol. 4.
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