Definition and classification of cancer cachexia: an international consensus

Kenneth Fearon, Florian Strasser, Stefan D Anker, Ingvar Bosaeus, Eduardo Bruera, Robin L Fainsinger, Aminah Jatoi, Charles Loprinzi, Neil MacDonald, Giovanni Mantovani, Mellar Davis, Maurizio Muscaritoli, Faith Ottery, Lukas Radbruch, Paula Ravasco, Declan Walsh, Andrew Wilcock, Stein Kaasa, Vickie E Baracos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

To develop a framework for the definition and classification of cancer cachexia a panel of experts participated in a formal consensus process, including focus groups and two Delphi rounds. Cancer cachexia was defined as a multifactorial syndrome defined by an ongoing loss of skeletal muscle mass (with or without loss of fat mass) that cannot be fully reversed by conventional nutritional support and leads to progressive functional impairment. Its pathophysiology is characterised by a negative protein and energy balance driven by a variable combination of reduced food intake and abnormal metabolism. The agreed diagnostic criterion for cachexia was weight loss greater than 5%, or weight loss greater than 2% in individuals already showing depletion according to current bodyweight and height (body-mass index [BMI]
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)489-95
Number of pages7
JournalThe Lancet Oncology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2011

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Anorexia
  • Cachexia
  • Consensus
  • Delphi Technique
  • Energy Intake
  • Energy Metabolism
  • Expert Testimony
  • Focus Groups
  • Humans
  • International Cooperation
  • Muscle Strength
  • Muscle, Skeletal
  • Neoplasms
  • Sarcopenia
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Syndrome
  • Weight Loss


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