Pre-cachexia and cachexia at diagnosis of stage III non-small-cell lung carcinoma: An exploratory study comparing two consensus-based frameworks

Barbara S van der Meij, Coline P Schoonbeek, Egbert F Smit, Maurizio Muscaritoli, Paul A M van Leeuwen, Jacqueline A E Langius

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30 Citations (Scopus)


Despite the development of consensus-based frameworks to define cancer cachexia, the validity and usefulness of these frameworks are relatively unknown. The aim of the present study was to study the presence of pre-cachexia and cachexia in patients with stage III nonsmall-cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC) by using a cancer-specific framework and a general framework for cachexia, and to explore the prognostic value of pre-cachexia and cachexia. In forty patients at diagnosis of stage III NSCLC, weight loss, fat-free mass, handgrip strength, anorexia and serum biochemistry, assessed before the first chemotherapy, were used to define ‘cancer cachexia’ or ‘cachexia’. The cancer-specific framework also classified for pre-cachexia and refractory cachexia. Additionally, quality of life was assessed by the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer–Quality of Life Questionnaire C30. Groups were compared using independent t tests, ANOVA, Kaplan–Meier and Cox survival analyses. Based on the cancer-specific framework, pre-cachexia was present in nine patients (23%) and cancer cachexia was present in seven patients (18%). Cancer cachexia was associated with a reduced quality of life (P = 0.03) and shorter survival (hazard ratio (HR) = 2.9; P = 0.04). When using the general framework, cachexia was present in eleven patients (28%), and was associated with a reduced quality of life (P = 0.08) and shorter survival (HR = 4.4; P = 0.001). In conclusion, pre-cachexia and cachexia are prevalent in this small population of patients at diagnosis of stage III NSCLC. For both frameworks, cachexia appears to be associated with a reduced quality of life and shorter survival. Further studies are warranted to more extensively explore the validity and prognostic value of these new frameworks in cancer patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2231-9
Number of pages9
JournalBritish Journal of Nutrition
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 28 Jun 2013
Externally publishedYes


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