Cancer cachexia is a highly debilitating paraneoplastic disease observed in more than 50% of patients with
advanced cancers and directly contributes to 20% of cancer deaths. Skeletal muscle wasting is a prominent feature of the
disease and is believed to result from the loss of balance between protein synthesis and degradation. Quality of life and
prognosis are severely compromised in patients with cancer cachexia. Despite current knowledge on the mediators
involved in cancer cachexia, treatment targeting a single molecule has rendered limited effectiveness. This article aims to
review the mediators of cancer cachexia and interventions attempted in the literature and discuss the common pathways
leading to protein loss that these mediators modulate during cachexia. We believe that by targeting downstream
effectors that are common in these pathways, a better therapeutic approach to reverse muscle wasting and maintain muscle
function during cancer cachexia will be achieved.
Keywords: Cancer cachexia, mediators, metabolism, muscle wasting, signalling, transcription factors, RORα, Calcineurin, RNA-dependent, Protein, myotubes.
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