Cachexia affects 50–80 % of advanced cancer patients, with currently no effective treatments. Cachexia is defined by loss of muscle function and muscle mass, loss of body weight, and increased fatigue and weakness. This results in diminished physical activity, reduced tolerance to anticancer therapies and overall increased death (By some estimates, nearly one-third of cancer deaths are caused by cachexia, according to the National Cancer Institute).
Available evidence suggests that chemotherapy (i.e. the use of cytotoxic and anti-proliferative drugs) may play a key role in the development and sustainment of cachexia (Study)
Treatment options include:
- Melatonin (study)
- Omega 3 Fatty Acids (study)
- Pomegranate (study)
- Supplements containing n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (study)
- In cancers where high inflammatory stress is usual, protein rich supplements containing n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids and high levels of antioxidant vitamins can reverse severe weight loss (study)
Note: The 3 major antioxidant vitamins are beta-carotene, vitamins C and vitamin E.
- Endurance training (study)
- Hydrazine Sulfate (study)
This study says: In 38 patients with glioblastomas Sehydrin (Hydrazine Sulfate) administration resulted in at least tumor stabilization and tumor regression in 27 (71%).
(For more on hydrazine sulfate, see Ralph Moss’ book, The Cancer Industry.)
This study evaluated fifty patients diagnosed with adenocarcinoma and malnutrition, during radio-chemotherapy. All patients were given a food therapy and a dose of AHCC of 1.5 g/day. Bioelectrical impedance assessed body composition at time 0 and after 3 – 6 months of nutritional therapy.
Results: There was no progression of cancer malnutrition/cachexia in 80% of the subjects... Conclusions: The use of AHCC during chemotherapy helps to prevent cases of cachexia and sarcopenia…
This Institute of Medicine report concluded: The accumulated data suggest a variety of indications, particularly for pain relief, nausea, and appetite stimulation. For patients, such as those with AIDS or undergoing chemotherapy, who suffer simultaneously from severe pain, nausea, and appetite loss, cannabinoid drugs might offer broad spectrum relief not found in any other single medication…The therapeutic effects of cannabinoids are best established for THC, which is generally one of the two most abundant of the cannabinoids in marijuana.
A substance that has been studied as a treatment for cancer and as a treatment for cachexia (body wasting) associated with advanced cancer.
This study states: There is good evidence that hydrazine sulfate inhibits gluconeogenesis. Therefore, it may play a role in reducing the severity of cachexia and in improving the quality of life of cancer patients.
L‐arginine, L‐glutamine, and Hydroxy methyl butyrate
Study Review: …we selected five studies that were suitable for our systematic review.The results of the studies shows that this combination can improve fat free mass, weight and immune function in cachexia and morbid weight loss patients. Supplementation with a combination of Arginine, Glutamine, and HMB [Hydroxy methyl butyrate] may improve cachexia and morbid weight loss in cancer patients.
Since malignant cancer cells metabolise blood sugar into lactic acid, the Coy diet uses very minimal amounts of carbohydrates and sugars. In doing so, the cancer cells are cut off from their main energy supply, glucose, and lose strength, which weakens cancer cells, so that treatments are more effective.
The diet contains foods rich in energy that cannot be used by TKTL1-positive cells. This energy will then be at the disposal of the healthy cells and may prevent the threatening loss of weight.
See more foods info here
This study says: Cancer cachexia and malnutrition are associated with an increased risk of surgical complications and higher toxicity levels of chemotherapy. Quality of life and overall survival of colon cancer patients can improve under early nutritional intervention. L-Carnitine is critical for energy generation by mitochondrial ß-oxidation and was found depleted under chemotherapy. Its oral supplementation can normalize nutritional L-Carnitine deficiency and reduce chemotherapy related side effects. We therefore tested whether oral L-Carnitine supplementation has a clinical benefit in patients with advanced pancreatic cancer and found that L-Carnitine can reduce malnutrition, increase bodyweight and improve body composition.
The following excerpts are taken from Holland-Frei Cancer Medicine. 6th edition.
(Ohnuma T. Treatment of Cachexia. In: Kufe DW, Pollock RE, Weichselbaum RR, et al., editors. Holland-Frei Cancer Medicine. 6th edition. Hamilton (ON): BC Decker; 2003. Available from:https: //www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK13978/)
This progestational agent is frequently used in the treatment of patients with metastatic breast cancer. It is generally well tolerated, except that it may cause undesirable weight gain. The addition of megestrol acetate to chemotherapy for patients with melanoma resulted in a high objective response and prolonged median survival as compared to historical controls with chemotherapy alone.
In advanced cancer patients with delayed gastric emptying or gastroparesis, oral administration of a prokinetic agent, metoclopramide, 10 mg orally 4 times daily before meals and at bedtime, was shown to be effective in stimulating appetite and relieving other dyspeptic symptoms associated with anorexia. A controlled-release preparation appears to be more effective than immediate-release drug…
In a preliminary study, 72 cancer patients with anorexia and weight loss were given thalidomide 100 mg/d. By day 10, 50% to 70% of 37 evaluable patients reported improvements in intensity of various symptoms including anorexia, nausea, fatigue, and sense of well-being.
Patients with pancreas cancer treated with supplements of fish oil capsules (EPA and docosahexaenoic acid) showed body weight gain accompanied by significant reduction in acute-phase protein production and by stabilization of resting energy expenditure. While nutritional supplement alone did not attenuate the development of weight loss in cachectic patients, nutritional supplement enriched with EPA resulted in significant weight gain. A randomized controlled study was carried out to investigate the effects of dietary EPA plus vitamin E on the immune systems and survival of well-nourished and of malnourished cancer patients… EPA prolonged the survival of both groups of patients.
Indomethacin and Ibuprofen
These agents are inhibitors of prostaglandin synthesis. In clinical trials, indomethacin reduced fever and granulocytosis, and was claimed to have improved the well-being of cancer patients. In cachectic cancer patients, ibuprofen was reported to decrease C-reactive protein, to produce body weight gain, and to improve survival.
…a randomized study was carried out in patients with metastatic solid tumors comparing a combination of low-dose IL-2 plus melatonin with best supportive care. In the treated group, the percentage of patients with improved performance status, as well as overall survival, was significantly higher than the controls.
Daily subcutaneous injections of a more stable synthetic ghrelin-receptor agonist GHRP-2 (growth hormone releasing peptide-2) produced dose-dependent increases in food intake and body weight. Ghrelin receptor agonists may offer a treatment option for syndromes such as anorexia nervosa, cancer cachexia, or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) wasting.
Clenbuterol is a β2-adrenoceptor agonist. It prevented muscle protein wasting in tumor-bearing animals and increased muscle mass and function in healthy animals. There was no change in food intake or tumor growth.