Cancer cachexia affects many patients with advanced cancer. This multifactorial syndrome, which involves loss of muscle mass and body weight, profoundly affects patients' physical functioning and quality of life. Pharmacologic interventions that target weight loss and also improve patient-reported measures are required. Anamorelin hydrochloride is an oral ghrelin receptor agonist for the treatment of cancer anorexia-cachexia that stimulates release of growth hormone and insulin-like growth factor 1, and improves food intake and body weight. Phase II and III trials have demonstrated that anamorelin increases body muscle and fat composition, and improves patient-reported appetite and quality of life. Anamorelin shows promise as an anabolic agent with benefits maintained over time, without the virilizing side effects of other anabolic medications.
- Journal Article