Introduction: Chemotherapy is a major etiology of cachexia. Ginseng products are known to have various anti-cachectic and health-promoting effects, such as inhibiting inflammation and promoting energy production. In particular, BST204, purified ginseng dry extract, contains multiple ginsenosides that can reduce chemotherapy-related fatigue and toxicity.
Objectives: To investigate the effects of BST204 on the alleviation of chemotherapy-induced cachexia using a multimodal approach.
Methods: In a CT26 mouse syngeneic colon cancer model, cachexia was predominantly induced by chemotherapy with 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) than by tumor growth. BST204 at a dose of 100 or 200 mg/kg was administered to 5-FU-treated mice.
Results: BST204 significantly mitigated the decrease in tumor-excluded body weight (change in 5-FU group and BST204 groups: - 13% vs. - 6% on day 7; - 30% vs. - 20% on day 11), muscle volume (- 19% vs. - 11%), and fat volume (- 91% vs. - 56%). The anti-cachectic effect of BST204 was histologically demonstrated by an improved balance between muscle regeneration and degeneration and a decrease in muscle cross-sectional area reduction.
Conclusion: Chemotherapy-induced cachexia was biochemically and metabolically characterized by activated inflammation, enhanced oxidative stress, increased protein degradation, decreased protein stabilization, reduced glucose-mediated energy production, and deactivated glucose-mediated biosynthesis. These adverse effects were significantly improved by BST204 treatment. Overall, our multimodal study demonstrated that BST204 could effectively alleviate chemotherapy-induced cachexia.
Keywords: BST204; Chemotherapy-induced cachexia; Multimodal study.