World Journal of Surgery

, Volume 23, Issue 6, pp 584–588 | Cite as

Pancreatic Cancer as a Model: Inflammatory Mediators, Acute-phase Response, and Cancer Cachexia

  • Kenneth C.H. Fearon
  • Matthew D. Barber
  • J.S. Falconer
  • Donald C. McMillan
  • James A. Ross
  • Tom Preston

Abstract.

Patients with pancreatic cancer frequently develop the syndrome of cancer cachexia. Pro-inflammatory cytokines have been strongly implicated in the pathogenesis of this syndrome. In patients with pancreatic cancer an acute-phase response (an index of pro-inflammatory cytokine activity) is associated with accelerated weight loss, hypermetabolism, anorexia, and a shortened duration of survival. However, little is known about the primary significance of the acute-phase response in terms of altered hepatic export protein synthesis rates and its potential impact on the body's nitrogen economy. In a recent series of studies on weight-losing pancreatic cancer patients with hypoalbuminemia we have demonstrated albumin synthesis to be unaltered whereas fibrinogen synthesis is increased two- to threefold compared with healthy controls. Because of the mismatch in amino acid composition between the body's main labile amino acid reserve (skeletal muscle) and that of acute-phase proteins, these results lend support to the concept that in pancreatic cancer the reprioritization of body protein metabolism during an acute-phase response may well be a significant factor in the loss of lean tissue in these patients.

Keywords

Pancreatic Cancer Fibrinogen Pancreatic Cancer Patient Cancer Cachexia Lean Tissue 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© 1999 by the Société Internationale de Chir ugie

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kenneth C.H. Fearon
    • 1
  • Matthew D. Barber
    • 1
  • J.S. Falconer
    • 1
  • Donald C. McMillan
    • 2
  • James A. Ross
    • 1
  • Tom Preston
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Surgery, University of Edinburgh, Royal Infirmary, Lauriston Place, Edinburgh EH3 9YW, UKGB
  2. 2.Department of Surgery, University of Glasgow, Royal Infirmary, Glasgow G4 OSF, UKGB
  3. 3.Isotope/Biochemistry Laboratory, Scottish Universities Research and Reactor Centre, East Kilbride, Glasgow G75 5OQF, UKGB

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