, Volume 3, Issue 4, p 279
Date: 13 Nov 2012

Bile acids for cachexia therapy

This is an excerpt from the content

Dear Editor,

In a recent letter [1], Dr. Kapoor commented on our paper describing the effects of ursodeoxycholic acid (UDCA) in a model of severe cancer cachexia [2]. Dr. Kapoor is obviously correct in stating that there is emerging data showing that bile acids such as UDCA may be beneficial in gastrointestinal cancers by attenuating cancer progression. However, in our study, the aim was to characterize the effects of UDCA on cachexia development and progression in a cancer model, in which the effects of UDCA on tumor growth would be minimal to avoid biased results on cachexia development through a possible antineoplastic effect. Therefore, we chose to use the Yoshida hepatoma AH-130 rat model, in which rats develop severe cachexia very fast, but drug effects on proliferation—aside from chemotherapeutics—have been shown to be minimal, even when using growth factors like IGF-1 [3]. Indeed, UDCA had no effect on tumor proliferation in our model, but unfortunately its anti-cachexia effects