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Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity
Volume 2018 (2018), Article ID 6419805, 10 pages
Research Article

Metabolic Alterations in a Slow-Paced Model of Pancreatic Cancer-Induced Wasting

1Department of Molecular Biotechnology and Health Science, Molecular Biotechnology Center, University of Torino, Torino, Italy
2Department of Translational Medicine, Istituto Interuniversitario di Miologia (IIM), University of Piemonte Orientale, Novara, Italy
3Department of Molecular Biotechnology and Health Science, Molecular Imaging Center, University of Torino, Torino, Italy
4Department of Oncology, University of Torino, Torino, Italy

Correspondence should be addressed to Chiara Riganti; ti.otinu@itnagir.araihc and Paolo Ettore Porporato; ti.otinu@otaroprop.oloap

Received 27 October 2017; Accepted 31 December 2017; Published 26 February 2018

Academic Editor: Elisabetta Ferraro

Copyright © 2018 Elisabeth Wyart 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.


Cancer cachexia is a devastating syndrome occurring in the majority of terminally ill cancer patients. Notably, skeletal muscle atrophy is a consistent feature affecting the quality of life and prognosis. To date, limited therapeutic options are available, and research in the field is hampered by the lack of satisfactory models to study the complexity of wasting in cachexia-inducing tumors, such as pancreatic cancer. Moreover, currently used in vivo models are characterized by an explosive cachexia with a lethal wasting within few days, while pancreatic cancer patients might experience alterations long before the onset of overt wasting. In this work, we established and characterized a slow-paced model of pancreatic cancer-induced muscle wasting that promotes efficient muscular wasting in vitro and in vivo. Treatment with conditioned media from pancreatic cancer cells led to the induction of atrophy in vitro, while tumor-bearing mice presented a clear reduction in muscle mass and functionality. Intriguingly, several metabolic alterations in tumor-bearing mice were identified, paving the way for therapeutic interventions with drugs targeting metabolism.