Spotlight on cachexia expert, Paul Gregorevic

We chat to Paul about his recent appointment to the Board of the Cancer Cachexia Society, latest Cancer Council grant funding - and what this means for researchers, care providers and patients.

Associate Professor Paul Gregorevic heads up the Muscle Research and Therapeutics Laboratory in the Department of Anatomy and Physiology, a research group at the forefront of cancer cachexia research in Australia. Recently elected to the Board of Directors for the Cancer Cachexia Society, Paul is the first Australian to be appointed to the role.

“It means a huge amount to me in terms of recognition for the significance of our research in the cachexia field,” Paul says.

The role also means the opportunity to connect Australian researchers, care providers and patients with the great things that are happening abroad - and to explore the opportunities to contribute in meaningful ways.

I want to start with what we can do right here in Melbourne. There are a number of specific resources and activities I’m helping set up and I think it’s a real opportunity to create positive impact.
Cancer cachexia research

Together with his research team, Paul is working to understand the mechanisms that regulate muscle growth, muscle wasting, and muscle metabolism in order to develop new methods aimed at preventing or treating the symptoms of muscle-related conditions.

A particular focus of this work involves cancer cachexia - understanding the development of cachexia in skeletal muscle which may help ultimately help to develop new therapeutic treatments and enhancing muscle health to improve outcomes in cancer patients.

Cancer cachexia is a wasting syndrome characterized by weight loss, anorexia, asthenia and anemia. Patients with cancer frequently succumb to complications arising from cachexia – with these complications potentially accounting for up to a third of advanced cancer deaths.

Latest Cancer Council funding

Paul and his team have just been awarded a grant from the Cancer Council Victoria (CCV) for the project Giving people the strength to fight cancer: Targeting muscle to enhance survival. This is one of 15 successful projects awarded by the Cancer Council Victoria in their latest Grants-in-aid funding announcement.

“Thanks to the support of CCV we are able to look further into why many people with cancer become weak and frail due to the progressive wasting of cachexia,” says Paul.

This project will build on the research the muscle research group published last year, which featured in Reuters Health.

Read more here