Treatment of chemotherapy-induced cachexia with BST204: a multimodal validation study

Metabolomics. 2021 Mar 18;17(4):36. doi: 10.1007/s11306-021-01781-8.


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.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cachexia / chemically induced*
  • Cachexia / drug therapy*
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Colonic Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Colonic Neoplasms / pathology
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Drug Therapy*
  • Drug-Related Side Effects and Adverse Reactions*
  • Glucose / metabolism
  • Inflammation
  • Interleukin-6 / blood
  • Male
  • Metabolomics
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Oxidative Stress
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*


  • BST204 ginseng extract
  • Interleukin-6
  • Plant Extracts
  • Glucose