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Clinical Trial
, 17 (6 Suppl 9), 2-7

Appetite Stimulation and Weight Gain With Megestrol Acetate

  • PMID: 2259925
Clinical Trial

Appetite Stimulation and Weight Gain With Megestrol Acetate

J Aisner et al. Semin Oncol.


The extreme anorexia and cachexia associated with cancer and other disease states often have important physical and psychologic impact on both patients and their families. Weight gain resulting from megestrol acetate therapy in breast cancer patients suggests that progestins may be useful for alleviation of disease-associated appetite and weight loss. Early breast cancer experience, as well as preliminary data from a randomized, placebo-controlled trial of high-dose megestrol acetate in cancer anorexia and wasting, is therefore reviewed. Although the precise mechanism by which megestrol acetate exerts its effect remains unclear, weight gain was observed in 75% of patients in the high-dose study and in nearly all of those who remained on therapy for 6 weeks. It was concluded that, although megestrol acetate cannot be expected to directly affect the prognosis of patients with hormone-insensitive tumors, it may increase host resistance by improving nutritional status and/or enhancing the quality of life.

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