Purpose: Based on evidence that suggests pentoxifylline can inhibit tumor necrosis factor, we set out to evaluate the activity and toxicity of this drug in patients with cancer-associated anorexia and/or cachexia. Patients and Methods: Seventy patients with an Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) performance status of 0 to 2 with cancer anorexia and/or cachexia (defined by a weight loss of ≥ 5 lb in the preceding 2 months or a caloric intake < 20 kcal/kg/d) were stratified and then randomly assigned to receive pentoxifylline or identical-appearing placebo tablets in a double-blind fashion. Patients' weights were monitored and patient questionnaires were used to assess appetite, toxicity, and perception of benefit. Results: Pentoxifylline failed to improve the appetites of study patients. Pentoxifylline did not appear to cause any toxicity. Conclusion: This study failed to demonstrate any benefit of pentoxifylline at this dose and schedule as therapy for cancer anorexia and/or cachexia.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research