The cachexia syndrome, characterized by a marked weight loss, anorexia, asthenia and anaemia, is invariably associated with the growth of a tumour and leads to a malnutrition status caused by the induction of anorexia or decreased food intake. In addition, the competition for nutrients between the tumour and the host results in an accelerated catabolism state, which promotes severe metabolic disturbances in the patient. The search for the cachectic factor(s) started a long time ago, and many scientific and economic efforts have been devoted to its discovery, but we are still a long way from a complete answer. The present review aims to evaluate the different molecular mechanisms and catabolic mediators (both humoural and tumoural) that are involved in cancer cachexia and to discuss their potential as targets for future clinical investigations.
Drug Discovery Today – Elsevier
Published: Sep 15, 2003
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