Anorexia and cachexia are common clinical problems of many patients with advanced cancer. Approximately 20 years ago, a controlled, clinical study demonstrated that dexamethasone could stimulate appetites of patients with advanced gastrointestinal cancer without causing any apparent effect on patient weight or survival. More recently, two double-blind, placebo-controlled trials investigated cyproheptadine and megestrol acetate in patients with cancer anorexia/cachexia. The first of these studies suggested that cyproheptadine could mildly stimulate appetite without causing any discernible effect on patient weight. Megestrol acetate, on the other hand, can clearly cause an increase in patient-perceived appetite and food intake and can also lead to substantial nonfluid weight gain in a proportion of patients with cancer anorexia/cachexia. Ongoing studies have been designed to better study the appetite-enhancing effects of megestrol acetate. In addition, current studies are evaluating the effect of the drug hydrazine sulfate on the appetite and weight status of patients with advanced lung or colon cancer.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||5|
|Journal||Seminars in oncology|
|Issue number||6 SUPPL. 9|
|State||Published - Dec 1990|
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