Background: Cancer cachexia is a metabolic syndrome prevalent in the majority of the advanced cancers
and is associated with complications such as anorexia, early satiety, weakness, anaemia, and edema, thereby reducing
performance and impairing quality of life. Skeletal muscle wasting is a characteristic feature of cancer-cachexia and
mitochondria is responsible for regulating total protein turnover in skeletal muscle tissue.
Methods: We carried out exhaustive search for cancer cachexia and role of mitochondria in the same in various databases.
All the relevant articles were gathered and the pertinent information was extracted out and compiled which
was further structured into different sub-sections.
Results: Various findings on the mitochondrial alterations in connection to its disturbed normal physiology in various
models of cancer-cachexia have been recently reported, suggesting a significant role of the organelle in the
pathogenesis of the complications involved in the disorder. It has also been reported that reduced mitochondrial
oxidative capacity is due to reduced mitochondrial biogenesis as well as altered balance between fusion and fission
protein activities. Moreover, autophagy in mitochondria (termed as mitophagy) is reported to play an important role
in cancer cachexia.
Conclusion: The present review aims to put forth the changes occurring in mitochondria and hence explore possible
targets which can be exploited in cancer-induced cachexia for treatment of such a debilitating condition.