Cancer cachexia is characterized by a negative energy balance, muscle and adipose tissue wasting, insulin resistance, and systemic inflammation. Because of its strong negative impact on prognosis and its multifactorial nature that is still not fully understood, cachexia remains an important challenge in the field of cancer treatment.
Recent animal studies indicate that the gut microbiota is involved in the pathogenesis and manifestation of cancer cachexia, but human data are lacking. The present study investigates gut microbiota composition, short-chain fatty acids (SCFA), and inflammatory parameters in human cancer cachexia.
Conclusions: This clinical study provided the first insights into the alterations of gut microbiota composition and SCFA levels that occur in cachectic cancer patients and how they are related to inflammatory parameters. These results pave the way for further research examining the role of the gut microbiota in cancer cachexia and its potential use as a therapeutic target.
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