Purpose: Randomized placebo-controlled clinical trials have now established that megestrol acetate causes appetite stimulation and weight gain in patients with anorexia and/or cachexia. There is a paucity of available data to delineate the substance of this increased weight. Patients and Methods: Using dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry and fritiated body water methodologies, we performed body-composition measurements in 12 patients with advanced cancer before the institution of oral megestrol acetate (800 mg/d) and at subsequent 2-month intervals. Results; Seven of the 12 patients gained weight (2.1 to 16.5 kg) and had repeat body-composition measurements performed at the time of maximum weight gain. The vast majority of the gained weight was clearly from an increase in adipose tissue, while there was a suggestion that an increase in body fluid was responsible for a minority of the weight gain. Conclusion: Megestrol acetate-induced weight gain is primarily the result of an increase in body mass.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research