Cancer-associated cachexia, reactive oxygen species, and nutrition therapy

Geir Bjorklund, Maryam Dadar, Jan Aaseth, Salvatore Chirumbolo, Joeri J Pen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Cancer-related Cachexia (CAC) is a syndrome occurring in many cancer patients, with a detrimental effect on their survival. Recent reports have outlined that the syndrome may be partly explained by the deleterious and pro-inflammatory action of Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS). This review focuses on nutrients that theoretically could counteract the oxidative stress in tumor cells, fundamentally due to their antioxidant activity. The preclinical and clinical results obtained with the nutritional elements selenium, melatonin, taurine, carnosine, coenzyme Q10 (ubiquinone), and omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA's) are discussed in the light of the pathophysiology of CAC. This should indicate that they are viable candidates for the treatment of CAC, with the ultimate goal to promote patient survival. Combination therapy with diet modification added to the novel pharmaceutical agent ghrelin, a hormone with anti-inflammatory properties, represents a promising concept.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5728-5744
Number of pages17
JournalCurrent Medicinal Chemistry
Issue number31
Early online date29 Jun 2018
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Bibliographical note

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  • Cancer
  • cachexia
  • ghrelin
  • micronutrients
  • nutrition
  • reactive oxygen species


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