Nutrition in wasting diseaseTherapy of muscle wasting in cancer: what is the future?Muscaritoli, Maurizioa; Bossola, Mauriziob; Bellantone, Roccob; Fanelli, Filippo RossiaAuthor Information aDepartment of Clinical Medicine, University ‘La Sapienza’, Rome, Italy; and bIstituto di Clinica Chirurgica, Catholic University, Rome, Italy Correspondence to Maurizio Muscaritoli, MD, FACN, Department of Clinical Medicine, Viale dell'Università 37, 00185 Rome, Italy Tel: +39 0649972016; fax: +39 064461341; e-mail: [email protected] Abbreviations AAS: anabolic androgenic steroid ATP: adenosine triphosphate CC: cancer cachexia EPA: eicosapentaenoic acid IGF-1: insulin-like growth factor 1 IGFBP: insulin-like growth factor-binding protein MAFbx: muscle atrophy F-box protein MuRF-1: muscle ring finger protein 1 Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care: July 2004 - Volume 7 - Issue 4 - p 459-466 doi: 10.1097/01.mco.0000134366.07148.2e Buy Metrics Abstract Purpose of review The aim of the present review is to provide insights into the future therapeutic approaches to cancer-related muscle wasting that flow from the progressive knowledge of mechanisms regulating muscle mass in health and disease. Recent findings Cancer cachexia is a severely debilitating and life-threatening paraneoplastic syndrome accounting for approximately 20% of cancer deaths. The prominent clinical feature of cancer cachexia is the progressive loss of muscle mass, which is substantially not reversible with any of the currently available nutritional, metabolic or pharmacological approaches. Cancer cachexia has long been considered a late event in the natural history of cancer patients, thus condemning them to merely palliative interventions. The accumulating evidence that the metabolic and molecular derangements ultimately leading to muscle wasting are operating early after tumour onset, even when weight loss is minimal or absent, is strengthening the view that cancer cachexia should be considered an early phenomenon. Summary Currently, despite scientific and economic efforts, the therapy of cancer-related muscle wasting has a poor success rate. Present knowledge of the intracellular mechanisms involved in muscle homeoastasis is prompting continuous research aimed at developing more effective and selective therapeutic tools for the prevention and treatment of muscle loss in cancer. © 2004 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.