ELCC 2017: An Expert View on Cancer Cachexia

Speaker: Richard Gralla

Richard Gralla describes different domains of cancer cachexia for which prevention and treatment was not successful so far. He hopes that these patients will benefit from the results of recent studies with ghrelin receptor agonist in NSCLC patients. 

Patients presenting with cachexia, anorexia or sarcopenia have a much poorer prognosis than those who do not. 
Cachexia occurs when there is a loss of muscle mass that cannot be overcome by nutritional or physical therapy. Many studies showed that both of these approaches are not sufficient, although they have their benefits. 

Pathophysiology is complicated, multifactorial driven, with hypoanabolism and hypercatabolism. To truly overcome cancer cachexia we need to look at a targeted approach, understanding the mechanism. 
There are several ways under investigation to slow down catabolism and encourage anabolism such as Selected Androgen Receptors Modulators and ghrelin agonists. Recent studies showed encouraging results regarding lean body weight build up and an improved quality of life.

Discussion Points

  1. How is cancer cachexia impacting patients' prognosis?
  2. What is the pathophysiology of cancer cachexia?
  3. What are key challenges with nutritional and physical therapies for cancer cachexia?
  4. What are the most promising therapies for cancer cachexia for the future?