Liver Controls Wasting in Cancer, Heidelburg University and Heidelburg University Hospital Study  
1/15/2013 7:43:06 AM

Many cancer patients suffer from a dramatic loss of fat and muscle tissue. This extreme wasting, or cachexia, is often the actual cause of death in cancer patients. Heidelberg scientists have now discovered in mice that tumors stimulate the production of a key gene switch in the liver. Activity of this switch lowers blood fat levels so that the animals lose weight. The researchers have been the first to demonstrate that the liver controls cancer-induced cachexia. This finding may lead to approaches to slow down this fatal loss of body mass.