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Interview with Dr. Anton Snegovoy from ESMO 2017: New Approaches to Managing Cachexia

Dr. Snegovoy reviews various studies on cancer cachexia. For cancer patients, weight loss is an independent risk factor; it has been shown that weight loss is associated with decreased 1-year survival. Therefore, nutritional status should be assessed before any cancer therapy (chemotherapy, radiation therapy or surgery) is initiated.

Once cancer treatment is started, prophylaxis is very important. Anamorelin, a selective agonist of the ghrelin/growth hormone secretagogue receptor (GHSR), is a drug which can help patients with cachectic syndrome by increasing appetite, decreasing fatigue as well as increasing lean and fat body mass.

The management of cancer cachexia requires multimodal intervention in order to reduce weight loss and improve quality of life; such an approach includes physical activity, nutritional support with the omega-3 fatty acid EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin, celecoxib, etc. A phase III study with a similar approach, but more physical activity (resistance and aerobic exercises), is currently underway.

Dr. Anton Snegovoy: Dept. of Outpatient Chemotherapy, N.N. Blokhin Russian Cancer Research Centre, Ministry of Health of Russia, Moscow.
This interview was recorded at ESMO 2017 which took place in Madrid on September 8-12, 2017.

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