Pentoxifylline for treatment of cancer anorexia and cachexia? A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial

Richard M. Goldberg, Charles L. Loprinzi, James A. Mailliard, Judith R. O'Fallon, James E. Krook, Chirantan Ghosh, Robert D. Hestorff, Sandra Fong Chong, Nicholas F. Reuter, Thomas G. Shanahan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

156 Scopus citations

Abstract

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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2856-2859
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Clinical Oncology
Volume13
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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    Goldberg, R. M., Loprinzi, C. L., Mailliard, J. A., O'Fallon, J. R., Krook, J. E., Ghosh, C., Hestorff, R. D., Chong, S. F., Reuter, N. F., & Shanahan, T. G. (1995). Pentoxifylline for treatment of cancer anorexia and cachexia? A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Journal of Clinical Oncology, 13(11), 2856-2859. https://doi.org/10.1200/JCO.1995.13.11.2856