Translational implications of novel findings in cancer cachexia: The use of metabolomics and the potential of cardiac malfunction

Hirak Der-Torossian, Christine G. Gourin, Marion E. Couch

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Purpose of review Cancer cachexia is a complex metabolic syndrome that manifests as a progressive wasting disorder. Recent findings have substantially improved our understanding of this unique entity shedding light on a potentially significant and overlooked morbidity in the form of cardiac functional changes that may occur in tandem with cachexia. Moreover, recent technological advances, such as with the application of metabolomic analysis, have yielded a better understanding of the metabolic changes that accompany this condition. Recent findings Recent evidence from murine studies indicates that the skeletal muscle wasting in cancer cachexia may be accompanied by cardiac muscle wasting. This decreased heart weight is accompanied by functional cardiac changes, which are suggestive of congestive heart failure. In addition, metabolomic analysis of body fluids and tissues distinguishes cancer cachexia's unique metabolic fingerprint as a separate entity, different from healthy controls, tumor burden, caloric restriction, and aging. It also gives insight into the metabolic changes that occur in the affected tissues such as the Warburg effect that is not often described in muscle. Summary Translational investigations into potential cardiac malfunction in cancer patients and metabolomic analyses of patients' sera and tissues are warranted to determine whether these changes are upheld in humans.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)446-450
Number of pages5
JournalCurrent opinion in supportive and palliative care
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2012


  • Cachexia
  • Cancer
  • Cardiac muscle
  • Metabolomics
  • Translational

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Oncology(nursing)
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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