Cancer cachexia and its circumvention

Hiromi Iwagaki, Shinya Saito, Jun Tomoda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Recently, the idea is attracting the attention, that cancer cachexia is similar to the body response to the surgical insult, and broadly characterized as SIRS (Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome). We might find out a new approach to control the cancer cahexic syndrome from the viewpoint of the imbalance between SIRS and CARS (Compensatory Anti-inflammatory Response Syndrome) that helps explain the disorder of the homeostasis maintained by the neuro-endocrine-immune system. We have investigated the changes in monoaminergic activities, autonomous nerves, and immune response in the brain and the gut of the cachectic mice and obtained following results; 1) the dopamine turnover rate was decreased, in contrast, the serotonin and histamine turnover rate were significantly increased. 2) The increase in histamine synthesizing HDC activity in the spleen occurred, and this histamine metabolism might decrease the cell-mediated immune activity through T cell apoptosis. 3) The serotonin content of the small intestine increased, resulting in hyperactivity of the gut. 4) Serum levels of IL- 6 and GM-CSF were significantly elevated. Taken together, the symptoms in cancer cachexia are attributable to the changes in neuro-endocrine-immune axis due to inflammatory response against cancer-burden state. Therefore, the strategies in point of neuro-endocrine-immune axis should be warranted to circumvent the cancer-cachexia syndrome.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)475-480
Number of pages6
JournalIRYO - Japanese Journal of National Medical Services
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2009


  • Cancer cachexia
  • Cytokine
  • Monoamine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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