ISSN 2286-6493
Journal of Asian Association of Schools of Pharmacy

Cancer cachexia and metabolism: a challenge in nutrition oncology  Review Article 

Kamon Chaiyasit1, Vitoon Jularattanaporn2 and Kanokpong Muangsri3
1 Vitallife Center at Bumrungrad International Hospital, Bangkok, Thailand.
2 Internal Medicine and Cardiologist, Mongkutwattana Hospital, Bangkok, Thailand.
3 Integrative Functional Nutrition and Wellness Center, Bangkok, Thailand.


    Cancer causes cellular inflammation with constant production of inflammatory signals which can alter metabolism, food consumption and energy utilization of the body. Insulin resistance which increases the lipolysis and the breakdown of fatty acids (lipid oxidation) is also involved. Inflammatory signals can also reduce appetite (anorexia) via the central nervous system, hence affecting body weights in cancer patients. Malnutrition of cancer patients can cause cancer cachexia, a group of syndromes including anorexia, muscle atrophy, immune dysfunction, inflammation and metabolism change. Long term consequences without any treatment could lead to develop cancer anorexia-cachexia syndrome (CACS). Prolonged release of the inflammatory signals prevents the body from utilizing nutrition supplements to revitalize or regain normal cell mass and functions, decreasing the survival rate and life expectancy of the patients in chronic states. Thus, the nutritional care alone may not be effective for cancer patients although it seems to be one of the promoted strategies. It is best to prevent prolonged inflammatory signal release in cancer by endorsing programs which combine regular nutritional assessment and screening for warning signs of cancer cachexia. Thus, CACs in cancer patients using this constant assessment and screening may reduce the risks of other fatal conditions including opportunistic infections.  


1 cancer cachexia
2 cancer metabolism
3 nutrition
4 Warburg effect

Published in

JAASP Volume 1 No. 4
October - December, 2012

Page: 187-193

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