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Anamorelin in cancer cachexia and low body mass index: a review


Article: A multicenter, open-label, single-arm study of anamorelin (ONO-7643) in patients with cancer cachexia and low body mass index

In this study, 102 Japanese patients with gastrointestinal or non-small cell lung cancer with cancer cachexia were used to test anamorelin. Anamorelin is a selective ghrelin receptor agonist and is taken orally. This drug is generally known to increase appetite and was hypothesised to help with improving cancer cachexia as well as increasing the patients’ low body mass index. It was found that improvements in their body weight were durable for up to 24 weeks, and overall, the patients reported a better appetite and overall well-being. The drug was also generally well tolerated, with around 37% of patients experiencing adverse side effects. Most commonly, these included symptoms such as glycosylated haemoglobin increase, peripheral oedema and constipation.

This review by Naito T et al. aimed to understand the benefits of anamorelin in cancer cachexia patients with improving their low body mass index.

Key learnings Although this trial presents a potentially positive outlook in using anamorelin to improve low body weight for patients with cancer cachexia, further research is needed into larger groups of patients with various stages of the disease. Furthermore, the long-term survival benefits of anamorelin have not yet been assessed.

Reviewed by: Z. Beketova

Authors: Naito T, Uchino J, Kojima T, et al.

Published in: Cancer 2022

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