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Cachexia

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Characterized by weight loss, anorexia, muscle wasting and decreased survival.

A combination of weight loss, muscle and fat tissue loss, anorexia, hyperglycemia, hyperlipidemia and anemia.

In contrast to sarcopenia, it is not caused by aging itself, but is a result of metabolic alterations due to disease.

Etiology unclear and no effective treatment exists.

Refers to severe wasting of both fat and muscle mass and loss of weight, mediated by a systemic inflammatory process in the presence of a severe chronic illness.

Weight loss occurs over a short period of time, and there is failure of nutritional support, and the presence of abnormal biochemistry.

Caused by interaction of tumor and its proinflammatory and neurohormonal dysfunction.

Estimated that nearly 1/3 of cancer deaths can be attributed to cachexia, a wasting syndrome characterized by dramatic loss of skeletal muscle and often accompanied by significant weight loss.

Commonly occurs in many cancers, usually in the advanced stages of disease, and is most commonly seen in pancreatic and gastric cancer, as well as lung, esophageal, colorectal, and head and neck cancer.

About 1/2 of patients with cancer with experience cachexia at some phase in the therapy.

At the time of death it’s probably closer to 80% and 20 to 30% of patients die from the wasting syndrome only.

Factors that contribute to metabolic changes and protein degradation are proinflammatory cytokines, and in cancer patients, tumor metabolism.

Suspected that cytokines decrease the production and increased the degradation of myosin.

In combination of tumor necrosis factor-alpha and other cytokines trigger a selective reduction in myosin heavy chain expression.

No consistent correlation with this process and serum concentration of cytokines.

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