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J Pain Symptom Manage. 2000 Sep;20(3):214-32.

Cytokines and advanced cancer.

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  • 1St. Christopher's Hospice, Esher, Surrey, United Kingdom.


Cytokines have a major role in promoting the growth and spread of cancers. Elevated levels of several cytokines have been described in cancer patients. Evidence from animal and human studies suggests that cytokines may contribute to a wide range of symptoms in advanced cancer, including: asthenia, pain, drowsiness, cognitive failure, agitated delirium, autonomic dysfunction, anorexia, cachexia, fever and metabolic abnormalities. Considerable effort is being directed at finding anticytokine treatments, raising the possibility of new options for symptoms that are currently difficult to control.

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