TRANSLATIONAL RESEARCH IN WASTING DISEASES: Edited by Vickie E. Baracos, Didier Attaix and Claude PichardTerminology in cancer cachexia importance and statusMacDonald, Neil Author Information Gerald Bronfman Centre, Montreal, Quebec, Canada Correspondence to Neil MacDonald, Department of Oncology, Gerald Bronfman Centre, 546 Pine Avenue West, Montreal, QC H2W 1S6, Canada Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care: May 2012 - Volume 15 - Issue 3 - p 220-225 doi: 10.1097/MCO.0b013e328352a895 Buy Metrics Abstract Purpose of review This article reviews the current status of the definition of cancer cachexia, and comments on future initiatives to refine it and to use it as a foundation for a cancer cachexia classification system. Recent findings There has been a plethora of work by expert panels defining cachexia. Stemming from this work, an expert panel has published a definition of cancer cachexia and a three level staging system: precachexia, cachexia, and refractory cachexia. Colleagues in the cancer pain field have put forward a sophisticated pain classification system. Work to develop a similar classification system for cachexia is now commencing. Aside from improved communication, these efforts may also enable the oncology community to better appreciate the importance of cancer cachexia and to participate in interdisciplinary treatment programmes to combat cachexia. Summary The quest to determine the pathophysiology of cancer cachexia and to use this knowledge to identify patient subsets will further research. Equally important, the fruits of this endeavour will lead to a higher priority for addressing cachexia with consequent development of a multimodal approach to management. © 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.