Many cancer patients suffer from a loss of body mass known as cachexia. Approximately 20 percent of cancer related deaths are attributed to the syndrome of cachexia, which in cancer patients is often characterized by a rapid or severe loss of fat and skeletal muscle. Dr. Melinda Sheffield-Moore, professor and head of the Department of Health and Kinesiology, along with researchers at University of Texas Medical Branch, recently published research in the Journal of Cachexia, Sarcopenia and Muscle showing that the hormone testosterone is effective at combatting cachexia in cancer patients and improving quality of life.
These findings are important, as there are currently no established therapies targeting this loss of skeletal muscle, and without an intervention, patients lose muscle function and become fatigued and weakened.
“We hoped to demonstrate these patients would go from not feeling well enough to even get out of bed to at least being able to have some basic quality of life that allows them to take care of themselves and receive therapy,” Dr. Sheffield-Moore said.
Dr. Sheffield-Moore said doctors sought her expertise in nutrition and metabolism when patients were losing tremendous amounts of weight from cancer cachexia. She said that previous nutrition-focused treatment
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