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BioMed Research International
Volume 2019, Article ID 2864384, 6 pages
Review Article

Medical Cannabinoids for Cancer Cachexia: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

1Department of Medical Oncology, Sir Run Run Shaw Hospital, Zhejiang University School of Medicine, Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China
2Second Department of Oncology, The Fourth Affiliated Hospital of Xinjiang Medical University, Urumqi, Xinjiang 830001, China

Correspondence should be addressed to Da Li; nc.ude.ujz@wenocnoadil

Received 3 February 2019; Accepted 22 May 2019; Published 23 June 2019

Academic Editor: Vickram Ramkumar

Copyright © 2019 Jing Wang 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.


Objectives. Cancer cachexia (CCA) is an intractable and ineffective metabolic syndrome that attacks 50–80% of cancer patients. It reduces patient’s life quality, affects the efficacy of treatment, and then increases their mortality; however, there are no established therapeutic strategies for CCA in the world. In this study, we assess the positive and negative effects of cannabinoid in the treatment of CCA. Methods. We searched the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) in The Cochrane Library, MEDLINE, EMBASE, Web of Science, and PubMed up to December 2017. Results. Of the 256 screened studies, three studies with a total of 592 participants were included. Compared with placebo, cannabinoid increased the appetite (MD 0.27, 95% CI -0.51 to 1.04; n= 3) but failed to improve the overall quality of life (QOL; MD -12.39, 95% CI [-24.21 to -0.57; n = 2), and a total of 441 patients had 607 adverse events (AEs; 496 in the cannabinoid group and 111 in the placebo group). Conclusions. Our analysis showed cannabinoid is effective in increasing appetite in cancer patients. However, it declines the quality of life, which may be due to the side effects of cannabinoid.