Eicosanoid-dependent cancer cachexia and wasting

Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2002 May;5(3):241-8. doi: 10.1097/00075197-200205000-00002.


The reversal of catabolic processes remains a significant challenge related, in part, to their complexity and our incomplete understanding of the mechanisms involved. The eicosanoids are key players in the inflammatory process and have been implicated in the process of cancer cachexia. They are unsaturated C20 fatty acids which can be separated into two main groups: the lipoxygenase products including leukotrienes and lipoxins, and the prostanoids including prostaglandins, prostacyclin and thromboxane. This review examines the biology of the eicosanoids and the evidence of a role for the eicosanoids in cancer cachexia and wasting.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cachexia / etiology
  • Cachexia / metabolism*
  • Cachexia / physiopathology
  • Eicosanoids / biosynthesis
  • Eicosanoids / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Lipoxygenase / biosynthesis
  • Lipoxygenase / metabolism
  • Neoplasms / complications*
  • Neoplasms / physiopathology
  • Prostaglandins / biosynthesis
  • Prostaglandins / metabolism
  • Wasting Syndrome / etiology
  • Wasting Syndrome / metabolism*
  • Wasting Syndrome / physiopathology


  • Eicosanoids
  • Prostaglandins
  • Lipoxygenase