Document Detail

Cancer-associated anorexia and cachexia. Implications for drug therapy.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  1377116     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Anorexia and cachexia are major problems in patients with cancer. Such measures as anti-cancer therapy, dietary counselling or hyperalimentation are not very successful in reversing this phenomenon in the vast majority of cancer patients. Thus, several drugs have been evaluated as agents to ameliorate cancer-associated anorexia/cachexia. Cyproheptadine is an antiserotonergic drug which appears to cause slight appetite stimulation in patients. A randomised clinical trial, however, was unable to demonstrate any weight gain from this agent. Corticosteroids are frequently used in clinical practice for appetite stimulation in patients with advanced malignancies. Supporting this practice, 4 randomised clinical trials showed that corticosteroid medications can stimulate the appetites of advanced cancer patients. However, these studies were not able to show any substantial nonfluid weight gain in treated patients. Megestrol acetate is a progestational agent which appears to be a relatively potent appetite stimulant. Randomised studies in advanced cancer patients have shown both substantial appetite stimulation and improvement in the nonfluid bodyweights of patients receiving this drug. Preliminary evidence also suggests that this drug has antiemetic properties. Several clinical studies are currently ongoing to determine the effect of various doses of megestrol acetate in patients with cancer. Efforts are also ongoing to evaluate both anabolic steroids and hydrazine sulfate as drugs for the treatment of patients with cancer anorexia/cachexia. The preliminary nature of these investigations, however, precludes recommendations for the use of either of these latter 2 drugs in routine clinical practice.
C L Loprinzi; R M Goldberg; N L Burnham
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Review    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Drugs     Volume:  43     ISSN:  0012-6667     ISO Abbreviation:  Drugs     Publication Date:  1992 Apr 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  1992-07-30     Completed Date:  1992-07-30     Revised Date:  2005-11-16    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  7600076     Medline TA:  Drugs     Country:  NEW ZEALAND    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  499-506     Citation Subset:  IM    
Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota.
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MeSH Terms
Anorexia / drug therapy*,  etiology
Cachexia / drug therapy*,  etiology
Neoplasms / complications*,  drug therapy

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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