Targeting activin to counteract life-threatening cancer cachexia is a Research Project for the Research Group, under the Targeting activin to counteract life-threatening cancer cachexia.
Cancer cachexia is a state of pronounced weight loss, frailty and fatigue, characterised by loss of muscle and fat mass, insulin resistance and anaemia. It is a syndrome caused by abnormal metabolism and catabolism, ostensibly induced by tumour and host-derived factors. Up to 80% of patients with advanced cancers exhibit cachectic symptoms, and remarkably 25% of cancer-related mortalities (1.9 million people globally in 2008) derive from cachexia rather than direct tumour burden. As such, cancer cachexia is a major unmet medical need.
To address this, we propose to demonstrate that activins are key contributors to the complex metabolic defects of cachexia, and that targeting activin will eliminate morbidity and mortality associated with this severe wasting state.