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Am J Clin Nutr. 2017 May;105(5):1139-1147. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.116.140434. Epub 2017 Mar 29.

Relation between hypermetabolism, cachexia, and survival in cancer patients: a prospective study in 390 cancer patients before initiation of anticancer therapy.

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Medical Oncology, Cochin Teaching Hospital, AP-HP, and
Medical Oncology, Cochin Teaching Hospital, AP-HP, and.
Clinical Biochemistry, Cochin Teaching Hospital, GH HUPC, AP-HP, and.
Laboratory of Biological Nutrition EA 4466, Pharmacy University, Paris Descartes University, Paris, France.


Background: Cachexia is a major cause of death in cancer patients. The role of hypermetabolism in cancer cachexia remains unclear.Objective: We studied the relation between resting energy expenditure (REE), the estimated energy balance, clinical and biological markers of cachexia, and survival.Design: REE was measured with the use of indirect calorimetry in cancer patients before the initiation of anticancer therapies. Hypermetabolic, normometabolic, and hypometabolic patients were identified with the use of Boothby's standard. Weight loss, performance status (PS), C-reactive protein (CRP), albumin, the nutritional risk index, daily energy intake, energy balance (equal to daily energy intakes minus the REE), and survival were recorded.Results: Of 390 enrolled patients, 49% of subjects were hypermetabolic, 30% of subjects were normometabolic, and 21% of subjects were hypometabolic. Mean daily energy intakes did not differ significantly between the 3 groups. Hypermetabolic patients, compared with normometabolic patients, were more likely to have a negative energy balance [45% compared with 32%, respectively; OR: 1.74 (95% CI: 1.05, 2.91); P = 0.024], weight loss >5% [48% compared with 34%, respectively; OR: 1.83 (95% CI: 1.11, 3.04); P = 0.013], PS ≥2 [40% compared with 29%, respectively; OR: 1.70 (95% CI: 1.01, 2.88); P = 0.038], and CRP concentrations ≥10 mg/L [52% compared with 33%, respectively; OR: 2.2 (95% CI: 1.33, 3.66); P = 0.001]. In metastatic patients, compared with normometabolism, hypermetabolism was associated with a reduced median survival [14.6 compared with 21.4 mo, respectively; OR: 1.48 (95% CI: 1.01, 2.17); P = 0.044].Conclusions: Hypermetabolism is correlated with clinical and biological markers of cancer cachexia and is associated with a shorter survival in metastatic cancer patients. The development of therapeutic strategies that aim to blunt hypermetabolism appears warranted. This trial was registered at as ISRCTN46152275.


cachexia; cancer; hypermetabolism; resting energy expenditure; survival; weight loss

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