The role of cytokines in cancer cachexia

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Purpose of reviewThe present investigation is devoted to uncovering the different signaling pathways – particularly transcriptional factors – involved in muscle wasting.Recent findingsAlthough the search for the cachectic factor(s) started a long time ago, and although many scientific and economic efforts have been devoted to its discovery, we are still a long way from knowing the whole truth. In this review we describe recent findings about the tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, interleukin (IL)-6, TWEAK and myostatin actions in cancer cachexia models.SummaryThe main aim of the present review is to summarize and evaluate the different molecular mechanisms and catabolic mediators (mainly cytokines) involved in cancer cachexia since they may represent targets for future promising clinical investigations.

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