Research priorities in cancer cachexia: The University of Rochester Cancer Center NCI Community Oncology Research Program Research Base Symposium on Cancer Cachexia and Sarcopenia

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Abstract

Purpose of review

Cancer cachexia remains understudied and there are no standard treatments available despite the publication of an international consensus definition and the completion of several large phase III intervention trials in the past 6 years. In September 2015, The University of Rochester Cancer Center NCORP Research Base led a Symposium on Cancer Cachexia and Sarcopenia with goals of reviewing the state of the science, identifying knowledge gaps, and formulating research priorities in cancer cachexia through active discussion and consensus.

Recent findings

Research priorities that emerged from the discussion included the implementation of morphometrics into clinical decision making, establishing specific diagnostic criteria for the stages of cachexia, expanding patient selection in intervention trials, identifying clinically meaningful trial endpoints, and the investigation of exercise as an intervention for cancer cachexia.

Summary

Standardizing how we define and measure cancer cachexia, targeting its complex biologic mechanisms, enrolling patients early in their disease course, and evaluating exercise, either alone or in combination, were proposed as initiatives that may ultimately result in the improved design of cancer cachexia therapeutic trials.

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