Current Oncology Reports

, Volume 7, Issue 4, pp 271-276

First online:

The cancer anorexia/weight loss syndrome: Therapeutic challenges

  • Karin F. GiordanoAffiliated withDepartment of Oncology, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine
  • , Aminah JatoiAffiliated withDepartment of Oncology, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine

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The cancer anorexia/weight loss syndrome is characterized by loss of weight, loss of appetite, overall decline in quality of life, and shortened survival in patients with advanced incurable cancer. It is highly prevalent. To date, treatment options that have been firmly established with good scientific evidence are limited to progestational agents and corticosteroids, both of which have been demonstrated to improve appetite but have otherwise failed to have a favorable impact on some of the other aspects of this syndrome. As the mechanisms behind this syndrome are further elucidated, more effective therapeutic strategies will likely emerge.