In recent years, cancer cachexia has been redefined as a “multifactorial syndrome defined by ongoing loss of skeletal muscle mass (with or without loss of fat mass) that cannot be fully reversed by conventional nutritional support and leads to progressive functional impairment”. This new definition presents challenges including the assessment of muscle loss which is not a routine measure. In addition, many of the current medication clinical trials focus on the latter of the 3 stages of cachexia, refractory cachexia, when treatment is most likely to be ineffective. Bruggeman and colleagues suggest early recognition of cachexia with the implementation of a 3-step approach to identify cachexia earlier when it is potentially reversible.
Link to J Oncology Pract (access free with site registration)(1/2017)