Cancer cachexia is a multifactorial syndrome characterized by an ongoing loss of skeletal muscle mass, which negatively affects quality of life and portends a poor prognosis. Numerous molecular substrates and mechanisms underlie the dysregulation of skeletal muscle synthesis and degradation observed in cancer cachexia, including proinflammatory cytokines (TNFα, IL1, and IL6), and the NF-κB, IGF1/AKT/mTOR, and myostatin/activin–SMAD pathways. Recent preclinical and clinical studies have demonstrated that anti-cachexia drugs (such as MABp1 and soluble receptor antagonist of myostatin/activin) not only prevent muscle wasting but also may prolong overall survival. In this review, we focus on the significance of cachexia signaling in patients with cancer and highlight promising drugs targeting tumor cachexia in clinical development. Clin Cancer Res; 22(16); 3999–4004. ©2016 AACR.
- Received April 27, 2016.
- Revision received June 9, 2016.
- Accepted June 9, 2016.
- ©2016 American Association for Cancer Research.