Patients with advanced cancer often show the cancer cachexia syndrome. The presence of cancer cachexia is a poor prognostic sign.


Synonym: cancer anorexia-cachexia syndrome, CACS, cancer wasting syndrome


Patient selection: advanced cancer


Clinical features:

(1) anorexia or early satiety with or without changes in taste

(2) unintended weight loss

(3) muscle loss (sarcopenia)

(4) loss of body fat

(5) systemic symptoms such as fatigue and/or evidence of systemic inflammation (elevated C-reactive protein, elevated serum cytokines)



• In pure starvation body fat is depleted while there is relative preservation of skeletal muscle.


Fearon et al used 3 factors to identify a patient with cancer cachexia:

(1) weight loss > 10%

(2) low food intake (<= 1,500 kcal per day)

(3) elevated CRP >= 10 mg/L


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