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Critical Reviews™ in Oncogenesis

ISSN Print: 0893-9675
ISSN Online: 2162-6448

Critical Reviews™ in Oncogenesis

DOI: 10.1615/CritRevOncog.v17.i3.40
pages 263-276

Is Tissue Cross-Talk Important in Cancer Cachexia?

Neil Johns
Department of Clinical Surgery and Geriatrics, School of Clinical Sciences and Community Health, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, EH16 4SB, UK
C. A. Greig
Department of Clinical Surgery and Geriatrics, School of Clinical Sciences and Community Health, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, EH16 4SB, UK
Kenneth C. H. Fearon
Department of Clinical Surgery and Geriatrics, School of Clinical Sciences and Community Health, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, EH16 4SB, UK

ABSTRACT

Recent work suggests molecular cross-talk between adipose tissue and muscle that occurs through adipokines and myokines. These molecules act in an endocrine fashion to play an intricate role in regulating body composition in both health and disease. Studies in exercise physiology have focused on the molecular cross-talk between adipose tissue and muscle that occurs through adipokines and myokines and on the role these molecules may play in chronic diseases. Similarly, integrative physiology in obesity and diabetes has long emphasised the importance of chronic inflammation, increased adipocyte lipolysis, and increased levels of circulating free fatty acids in the adipose-muscle cross-talk that contributes to lipotoxicity and insulin resistance in muscle. Cachexia affects the majority of patients with advanced cancer and is associated with a reduction in treatment tolerance, response to therapy, quality of life, and duration of survival. Although cachexia in patients with cancer is characterized by systemic inflammation, increased lipolysis, insulin resistance, and reduced physical activity, there has been little effort to manipulate the integrative physiology of adipose tissue and muscle tissue for therapeutic gain.