On our way to targeted therapy for cachexia in cancer?

Manon S.A. Boddaert, Winald R. Gerritsen, Herbert M. Pinedo

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Cachexia, the occurrence of involuntary weight loss due to loss of adipose tissue and skeletal muscle mass, is among the most common and devastating symptoms in patients with advanced cancer. It is a significant factor contributing to the poor performance status and high mortality rate of these patients, and is a distressing problem for both patients and their families. Despite extensive research in an attempt to better understand the mechanisms involved, progress in the management of cancer cachexia has been slow. RECENT FINDINGS: The pathogenic mechanisms of cachexia and anorexia are multifactorial, but cytokines and tumour-derived factors are known to play a significant role, thereby representing suitable therapeutic targets. Moreover, recent advances in the field of molecular biology have shed light on other mediators involved in the mechanisms leading to muscle wasting, thus increasing potential targets for new therapies. SUMMARY: This review will focus on recent findings in relation to the molecular pathways leading to muscle wasting that have improved our current understanding of cachexia and will direct the future management of cachexia in cancer towards targeted therapies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)335-340
Number of pages6
JournalCurrent opinion in oncology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Cachexia
  • Cancer
  • Pathogenesis
  • Targeted therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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