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Cancer cachexia and upper gastrointestinal cancers: a review


Article: Understanding Cancer Cachexia and Its Implications in Upper Gastrointestinal Cancers

Globally, there are over 1.5 million new cases of gastric and oesophageal cancer annually. These cases are often associated with cancer cachexia, a multifactorial syndrome that leads to progressive wasting which cannot be fully reverse through nutritional interventions. Yet, the understanding of cancer cachexia is often neglected in treatment. This presents an issue as cytotoxic drug doses are most commonly calculated based on body surface area, not taking into account decreasing mass.

Furthermore, understanding cancer cachexia would allow for the improvement of therapeutic options, which are currently little researched, including exercise- and nutrition-based interventions, as well as targeted treatments such as anti-IL1 α and anti-GDF-15. Even for patients with incurable cancers, the management of cachexia wasting can improve quality of life.

This review by Brown LR et al. aimed to highlight the necessity of understanding the progression of cancer cachexia in association with diseases such as gastric and oesophageal cancer, as well as the possible future research directions associated with aiding in these conditions.

Key learnings Further research is required into understanding the progression of cancer cachexia to provide better, more focused treatment for those with gastric or oesophageal cancer; those with incurable conditions can also benefit from improved quality of life due to better research.

Reviewed by: Z. Beketova

Authors: L. R. Brown; B. J. A. Laird; S. J. Wigmore; R. J. E. Skipworth

Published in: Curr Treat Options Oncol (October 2022)

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