Advancing cancer cachexia diagnosis with -omics technology and exercise as molecular medicine

Hesketh, Stuart J orcid iconORCID: 0000-0001-7855-2380 (2024) Advancing cancer cachexia diagnosis with -omics technology and exercise as molecular medicine. Sports Medicine and Health Science, 6 (1). pp. 1-15.

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Muscle atrophy exacerbates disease outcomes and increases mortality, whereas the preservation of skeletal muscle mass and function play pivotal roles in ensuring long-term health and overall quality-of-life. Muscle atrophy represents a significant clinical challenge, involving the continued loss of muscle mass and strength, which frequently accompany the development of numerous types of cancer. Cancer cachexia is a highly prevalent multifactorial syndrome, and although cachexia is one of the main causes of cancer-related deaths, there are still no approved management strategies for the disease. The etiology of this condition is based on the upregulation of systemic inflammation factors and catabolic stimuli, resulting in the inhibition of protein synthesis and enhancement of protein degradation. Numerous necessary cellular processes are disrupted by cachectic pathology, which mediate intracellular signalling pathways resulting in the net loss of muscle and organelles. However, the exact underpinning molecular mechanisms of how these changes are orchestrated are incompletely understood. Much work is still required, but structured exercise has the capacity to counteract numerous detrimental effects linked to cancer cachexia. Primarily through the stimulation of muscle protein synthesis, enhancement of mitochondrial function, and the release of myokines. As a result, muscle mass and strength increase, leading to improved mobility, and quality-of-life. This review summarises existing knowledge of the complex molecular networks that regulate cancer cachexia and exercise, highlighting the molecular interplay between the two for potential therapeutic intervention. Finally, the utility of mass spectrometry-based proteomics is considered as a way of establishing early diagnostic biomarkers of cachectic patients.

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