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Book and Media Reviews
February 7, 2007

Cachexia and Wasting: A Modern Approach

Author Affiliations

Book and Media Reviews Section Editor: John L. Zeller, MD, PhD, Fishbein Fellow, JAMA.

JAMA. 2007;297(5):533-537. doi:10.1001/jama.297.5.536

Cachexia has perhaps suffered more from selective neglect and therapeutic nihilism than any other symptom requiring palliative care. In this ambitious book aimed at scientists and researchers, the editors assemble pioneers in the field to present a comprehensive perspective on cachexia syndrome.

Past failures at improving clinical outcomes using single-agent interventions have been due in part to a focus on appetite stimulation and underrecognition of the complexity of cachexia syndrome. Fortunately, a surge in basic research and recognition of the importance of symptom management have reignited interest in cachexia. Advances in understanding the mechanisms that generate this profound loss of muscle and fat have revealed intriguing therapeutic targets. The editors of Cachexia and Wasting note that since cachexia is common to many disparate diseases, it is possible that successful means of treatment in one disease may be applied to another.

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