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BioMed Research International
Volume 2015, Article ID 792187, 9 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2015/792187
Review Article

B-Cell Activating Factor as a Cancer Biomarker and Its Implications in Cancer-Related Cachexia

1Department of Pediatric Oncology, University Hospital and Faculty of Medicine, Masaryk University, Cernopolni 9, 613 00 Brno, Czech Republic
2Regional Centre for Applied Molecular Oncology, Masaryk Memorial Cancer Institute, Zluty Kopec 7, 656 53 Brno, Czech Republic
3Department of Pathological Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, Masaryk University, Kamenice 5, 625 00 Brno, Czech Republic
4Advanced Cell Immunotherapy Unit, Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Medicine, Masaryk University, Kamenice 5, 625 00 Brno, Czech Republic

Received 22 October 2014; Accepted 28 April 2015

Academic Editor: Olive Joy Wolfe

Copyright © 2015 Michal Rihacek et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

B-cell activating factor (BAFF) is a cytokine and adipokine of the TNF ligand superfamily. The main biological function of BAFF in maintaining the maturation of B-cells to plasma cells has recently made it a target of the first FDA-approved selective BAFF antibody, belimumab, for the therapy of systemic lupus erythematosus. Concomitantly, the role of BAFF in cancer has been a subject of research since its discovery. Here we review BAFF as a biomarker of malignant disease activity and prognostic factor in B-cell derived malignancies such as multiple myeloma. Moreover, anti-BAFF therapy seems to be a promising approach in treatment of B-cell derived leukemias/lymphomas. In nonhematologic solid tumors, BAFF may contribute to cancer progression by mechanisms both dependent on and independent of BAFF’s proinflammatory role. We also describe ongoing research into the pathophysiological link between BAFF and cancer-related cachexia. BAFF has been shown to contribute to inflammation and insulin resistance which are known to worsen cancer cachexia syndrome. Taking all the above together, BAFF is emerging as a biomarker of several malignancies and a possible hallmark of cancer cachexia.