Advances To Better Target Debilitating Effects Of Cachexia Syndrome

As the cachexia is a wasting syndrome characterizing by pronouncing skeletal muscle loss. But for better understanding of the cachexia syndrome. This wasting condition, characterizing by excessive weight loss, has one of the highest incidence in pancreatic cancer patients. It affects cancer treatment by decreasing treatment tolerance and making patients weak and more resistant to treatment.

But although cachexia is a consequence of cancer; for such cancers like pancreatic, an effective treatment does not yet exist. So trying to combat cachexia to provide the patient a better quality of life is a big deal. As cachexia, estimates that nearly one-third of all cancer deaths can be attributed to this wasting syndrome, which is devastating for not only the patient but their families as well.

The defining symptom of cancer cachexia is unintentional weight loss because of depletion of skeletal muscle. This wasting cannot be prevented by supplemental nutrition and is often correlated with increased whole body inflammation and anorexia. Cachexia occurs in at least half of all cancer patients and is associated with advanced disease and palliative care.

Effects of cachexia syndrome

Although resistance to current therapies and the difficultly of diagnosing early-stage malignancy are important contributors to the high mortality rate of PDA patients, the cachexia syndrome also contributes to poor survival in this disease by lowering patient tolerance of chemo and radiotherapy.

It occurs in many cancers, usually at the advancing stages of disease; and is most commonly seeing in a subset of cancers, led by pancreatic, but also present in lung, esophageal and colon cancers. The study overcoming certain limitations present in current animal models; such as the high tumor burden, which is not a common feature of patients.

Morbidity and mortality

In cancer, cachexia is associating with increasing morbidity and mortality and decreasing treatment tolerance. Although advancing have being made in understanding the mechanisms of cachexia; translating these advances to the clinic has been challenging. These cancer genes, tumors take two months to develop rather than two weeks, as seen in the current models. So we have that extra opportunity to look at events that are happening sequentially.

The study showing a better reflection of cachexia symptoms typically seen in humans; than did tradition models. This was evident when researchers comparing the gene expression pattern of muscles from pancreatic cancer patients with cachexia and comparing them to KPP versus the traditional models of cachexia. Because pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDA) presents with a high incidence of cachexia, we engineered a mouse model of PDA that we named KPP.