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Cancer Lett. 1996 May 15;103(1):71-7.

The lack of an effect by insulin or insulin-like growth factor-1 in attenuating colon-2-mediated cancer cachexia.

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  • 1Department of Immunology, Otsuka America Pharmaceutical, Inc., Rockville, MD 20850, USA.


In several studies, the anabolic hormones insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) and insulin attenuated several metabolic changes associated with cancer cachexia. In the present study, we evaluated the effect of these hormones on the cachexia associated with colon-26 (C-26) tumor. Healthy age-matched and tumor-bearing mice were treated with two daily doses of IGF-1 (50 micrograms/kg in toto), or insulin (1 U in toto). Determinants of cachexia were body and tumor weight, epididymal fat pad and serum glucose concentrations. Neither IGF-1 nor insulin treatment had a significant effect on the cachectic parameters of C-26-bearing mice. These hormones were biologically active, being capable of inducing weight gain in hypophysectomized mice and hypoglycemia, respectively. Although IGF-1 and insulin have been used to treat cancer-related weight loss, the research presented here suggests that the beneficial effect of these hormones is not universal.

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