Weight loss in patients with advanced cancer: Effects, causes, and potential management

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


PURPOSE OF REVIEW: The past 2 years have yielded interesting observations that have challenged our understanding of and approach to treating cancer-associated weight loss in patients with advanced, incurable malignancies. This review provides an update of such observations and places them within the context of previous work. RECENT FINDINGS: The mechanisms that underlie cancer-associated weight loss remain elusive, but recent studies suggest that this weight loss might be mediated by downregulation of insulin-like growth factor-1; macrophage inhibitory cytokine-1 has also been implicated. Although recent clinical trials have not provided major additions to the armamentarium of palliative approaches, such laboratory-based findings provide targets for future palliative trials. SUMMARY: The limited palliative options available to patients with cancer-associated weight loss underscore the need for continued laboratory and clinical investigation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)45-48
Number of pages4
JournalCurrent opinion in supportive and palliative care
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2008


  • Cancer
  • Prognosis
  • Weight loss

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Oncology(nursing)
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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