Are tumoral factors responsible for host tissue wasting in cancer cachexia?

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  • Michael J. Tisdale

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Both cytokines and tumor factors have been implicated in tissue loss in cancercachexia. Loss of adipose tissue is most likely due to the tumor (and host) factorzinc-α2-glycoprotein because of its direct lipolytic effect, ability to sensitizeadipocytes to lipolytic stimuli and increased expression in cachexia. TNF-α andthe tumor factor proteolysis-inducing factor are the major contenders for skeletalmuscle at rophy; both increase protein degradat ion through theubiquitin-proteasome pathway and depres s protein synthesis throughphosphorylation of eukaryotic initiation factor 2α. However, while most studiesreport proteolysis-inducing factor levels to correlate with the appearance ofcachexia, there is some disagreement regarding a correlation between serumlevels of TNF-α and weight loss. Furthermore, only antagonists to proteolysisinducingfactor prevent muscle loss in cancer patients, suggesting that tumorfactors are the most important.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)503-513
Number of pages11
JournalFuture Oncology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2010


  • cytokine, proteolysisinducing factor, zinc-α-glycoprotein


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