Testosterone in addition to chemotherapy can improve patients’ quality of life, a new research shows. Cachexia is a condition characterized by loss of weight, fatigue, muscle atrophy, weakness and significant loss of appetite. It is seen in many people with cancer.
Various studies have shown that nearly 50% of all patients with cancer experience cachexia, causing damage to their quality of life. It estimated to be responsible for the 22% deaths of cancer patients. The exact causes of this condition are not cleared and treatments to cure it are insufficient.
Now, a new research on administering testosterone in addition to chemotherapy in order to mitigate cachexia’s impact is under investigation. Researchers from the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston – led by Dr. Melinda Sheffield-Moore, from the Department of Health and Kinesiology – have been conducting the study.
“We hoped to demonstrate these cancer patients [who received testosterone treatment would go from not feeling well enough to even get out of bed to at least being able to have some basic quality of life that allows them to take care of themselves and receive therapy,” Dr. Melinda Sheffield-Moore stated.
Their findings are now published in the Journal of Cachexia, Sarcopenia, and Muscle. The results found that administering testosterone to patients with cachexia can improve their quality of life to some extent.
“We already know that testosterone builds skeletal muscle in healthy individuals,” she notes, “so we tried using it in a population at a high risk of muscle loss, so these patients could maintain their strength and performance status to be able to receive standard cancer therapies.”