Using Cannabis to Treat Cachexia in Cancer Patients


Cachexia is a complex syndrome associated with certain underlying medical conditions such as HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, Crohn’s disease and cancer. Cachexia is characterized by abnormal loss of muscle mass, with or without fat loss. The loss of muscle mass is rapid in cancer cachexia patients,as compared to other disease states.

Cancer-related cachexia is led by loss of body mass including skeletal and cardiac muscles, inflammatory response, altered protein and energy balance, and changed body composition that leads to net weight loss. Cachexia is a common complication that occurs in the terminal stages of cancer, and is responsible for 22% of mortalities.

The role of increased systemic inflammation is mediated by pro-inflammatory cytokines leading to the pathogenesis of cancer. Some of the pro-inflammatory cytokines involved in the pathogenesis are TNF-α, IFN-gamma, IL-6 and PGE2. The latter ... read more at: