Cancer cachexia: mediating factors and the effect of eicosapentaenoic acid dieting
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Department of Immunology, Nicolaus Copernicus University, Torun, Poland
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Małgorzata Kowalczewska   

Institute of General and Molecular Biology, Department of Immunology, Nicolaus Copernicus University, Torun, Poland.
J Pre Clin Clin Res. 2010;4(2):108-111
Cancer cachexia is an involuntary weight loss of more than 10% of premorbid weight, caused by depletion of lipid stores, muscle wasting, anorexia and metabolic alterations. It results from a complex tumour-host interaction associated with an elevated production of cytokines (e.g. TNF-α, IL-1, IL-6) and release of tumour-derived catabolic factors (e.g. lipid-mobilizing factor, protein-mobilizing factor). In this paper we discuss data suggesting a potential role of ω-3 fatty acids, such as eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) in the treatment of cancer cachexia. These data indicate that dieting EPA decreases production of cytokines, attenuates the lipolysis process and reduces activity of the proteolysis-inducing factor (PIF). In contrast to other therapeutic agents, which only improve appetite, it has been shown that EPA supplementation prolonged the survival of cancer cachexia patients.
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