Novel interventions to treat cardiac cachexia in cancer and chemotherapy


Project Details

Cancer cachexia is a term used to describe the wasting associated with tumour bearing. It is a complex, multifactorial syndrome characterised by a progressive loss of muscle with or without loss of fat. It affects up to 80% of patients with lung, pancreatic and gastrointestinal cancers; reduces patient quality of life; and impairs the patient’s response to chemo- and radio-therapy. Greater than 20% of cancer-related deaths are attributable directly to cachexia, highlighting how the preservation of muscle mass is critical for life itself. Skeletal muscle is not just an organ of locomotion but an essential organ of metabolism and survival.

There is an immediate and profound need for therapeutic interventions that can ameliorate cardiac cachexia associated with many cancers and chemotherapy agents to improve life quality and duration.

This project tests the therapeutic potential of novel interventions for reducing the heart failure associated with many cancers and chemotherapeutics.  If effective, information from this project could improve the quality of life, reduce the incidence of recurrence and decrease mortality in thousands of Australian cancer patients.

This work is led by Dr Kate Murphy with Professor Gordon Lynch. Dr Murphy is an NHMRC Biomedical Research Fellow and a leading expert on cancer cachexia.


Cancer Council Victoria

National Health & Medical Research Council

Research Group

Lynch laboratory: Basic and clinical myology

Faculty Research Themes


School Research Themes

Cancer in Biomedicine

Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact the research group leader.

Department / Centre


Unit / Centre

Lynch laboratory: Basic and clinical myology

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