Most Cancer patients Die of Cachexia says ReportsTop Stories

July 09, 2024 20:31
Most Cancer patients Die of Cachexia says Reports

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If a cancer patient's tumor has high levels of an immune system molecule called interleukin-6 (IL-6), it can lead to a severe brain dysfunction that occurs in about 50 to 80 percent of cancer patients and is called cachexia. says a new study. “This is a very serious syndrome,” said Bo Lee, a professor at the US Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL). According to a study published in the journal Nature Communications, most cancer patients do not die. Lee and other researchers on his team found that blocking IL-6 from binding to neurons in a part of the brain called the posterior cortex (AP) prevented cachexia in mice. As a result, mice with healthier brain function live longer. “Future drugs that target these neurons could help make cancer cachexia a treatable disease,” the researchers suggested. In healthy patients, IL-6 plays an important role in the innate immune response. Molecules circulate throughout the body. When confronted with a potential threat, it alerts your brain and adjusts your response.

According to the researchers, cancer disrupts this process because IL-6 is overproduced and begins to bind to AP neurons in the brain. “This has several consequences,” says Lee. One is that animals and humans alike stop eating. The research team took two approaches to prevent the increase in IL-6 in the mice's brains. Their first strategy neutralized IL-6 with a tailored antibody. Second, they used CRISPR to reduce the amount of IL-6 receptors in AP neurons. Both strategies led to the same result: the mice started eating again, stopped losing weight and lived longer. “The brain is very powerful at controlling environmental systems. Changing just a few neurons in the brain can have profound effects on the physiology of the entire body. There are interactions between tumors and brain function. I knew about it, but not until now.” Hadd. Lee said.

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Tagged Under :
Cachexia  Cancer