Author(s): Chevalier S, Farsijani S
Abstract Share this page
Abstract Cancer cachexia is a metabolic syndrome featuring many alterations typical of type 2 diabetes (T2D). While muscle wasting is a hallmark of cachexia, epidemiological evidence also supports an accelerated age-related muscle loss in T2D. Insulin resistance manifests in both conditions and impairs glucose disposal and protein anabolism by tissues. A greater contribution of gluconeogenesis to glucose production may limit amino acid availability for muscle protein synthesis, further aggravating muscle loss. In the context of inter-dependence between glucose and protein metabolism, the present review summarizes the current state of knowledge on alterations that may lead to muscle wasting in human cancer. By highlighting the similarities with T2D, a disease that has been more extensively studied, the objective of this review is to provide a better understanding of the pathophysiology of cancer cachexia and to consider potential treatments usually targeted for T2D. Nutritional approaches aimed at stimulating protein anabolism might include specially formulated food with optimal protein and amino acid composition. Because the gradual muscle loss in T2D may be attenuated by diabetes treatment, anti-diabetic drugs might be considered in cachexia treatment. Metformin emerges as a choice candidate as it acts both on reducing gluconeogenesis and improving insulin sensitivity, and has demonstrated tumour suppressor properties in multiple cancer types. Such a multimodal approach to slow or reverse muscle wasting in cachexia warrants further investigation.
This article was published in Appl Physiol Nutr Metab
and referenced in Journal of Diabetes & Metabolism