Dr. Rich on the Prevalence of Cachexia in HCC

Nicole Rich, MD, discusses the prevalence of cachexia in hepatocellular carcinoma.

Nicole Rich, MD, medical oncologist, Internal Medicine – Digestive and Liver Diseases, University Hospital Kidney and Liver Transplant Clinic, UT Southwestern Medical Center, discusses the prevalence of cachexia in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). 

During the ILCA 2021 Annual Conference, findings from retrospective cohort study examining cachexia in HCC were presented. A significant finding from the study was the overall prevalence of cachexia, which affects nearly 1 in 4 patients in this population, Rich says. Moreover, a substantial proportion of patients with cachexia had early-stage HCC and early-stage cirrhosis, Rich explains.

In other studies evaluating different cancers, cachexia was more commonly observed in later-stage disease. As such, with cachexia being prevalent among patients with early-stage HCC, the hypothesis is that, in addition to tumor burden, tumor-secreted factors could lead to cachexia in HCC, Rich concludes.