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Mediators of Inflammation
Volume 2015, Article ID 367561, 5 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2015/367561
Review Article

Cancer Cachexia and MicroRNAs

1Cancer Metabolism Research Group, Institute of Biomedical Sciences, University of São Paulo, Avenida Professor Lineu Prestes 1524, Cidade Universitária, 05508-000 São Paulo, SP, Brazil
2NAPmiR—miRNA Research Group, University of São Paulo, Avenida Professor Lineu Prestes 1524, Cidade Universitária, 05508-000 São Paulo, SP, Brazil
3Department of Clinical Surgery, University of São Paulo, Avenida Professor Lineu Prestes 2565, Cidade Universitária, 05508-000 São Paulo, SP, Brazil

Received 25 February 2015; Accepted 13 April 2015

Academic Editor: Yona Keisari

Copyright © 2015 Rodolfo Gonzalez Camargo 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

Cancer cachexia is a paraneoplastic syndrome compromising quality of life and survival, mainly characterized by involuntary weight loss, fatigue, and systemic inflammation. The syndrome is described as a result of tumor-host interactions characterized by an inflammatory response by the host to the presence of the tumor. Indeed, systemic inflammation is considered a pivotal feature in cachexia progression and maintenance. Cytokines are intimately related to chronic systemic inflammation and the mechanisms underlying the release of these factors are not totally elucidated, the etiology of cachexia being still not fully understood. Therefore, the understanding of cachexia-related mechanisms, as well as the establishment of markers for the syndrome, is very relevant. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a class of noncoding RNAs interfering with gene regulation. Different miRNA expression profiles are associated with different diseases and inflammatory processes. miRNAs modulate adipose and skeletal muscle tissue metabolism in cancer cachexia and also tumor and tissue derived inflammation. Therefore, we propose a possible role for miRNAs in the modulation of the host inflammatory response during cachexia. Moreover, the establishment of a robust body of evidence in regard to miRNAs and the mechanisms underlying cachexia is mandatory, and shall contribute to the improvement of its diagnosis and treatment.