Study: Clinical and Molecular Markers of Cancer Cachexia in Cats
Location: University of Pennsylvania Veterinary Hospital, Philadelphia, PA
If you are interested in learning more about this study, please contact the VCIC at 215-573-0302 or

Your cat has been diagnosed with any type of cancer and has not yet been treated by chemotherapy (including steroids),
radiation or surgery.

Summary: Cancer cachexia is a syndrome that is described in human medicine. Patients with this syndrome lose body
weight and muscle mass, have a decreased appetite, and feel unwell overall. These patients also have a poor response to
cancer treatments and a decreased survival compared to patients that do not have this syndrome. Cancer cachexia is
associated with increased blood levels of inflammatory proteins. Some cats with cancer may experience a similar
syndrome. The purpose of this study is to document and compare the body weight, body condition, and blood levels of
inflammatory proteins in normal weight cats with cancer, underweight (cachectic) cats with cancer, and normal weight
healthy cats.

We will obtain a blood sample for a general health screening and inflammatory markers. Body condition and muscle mass
scoring will be performed as part of the physical examination by feeling for the amount of muscle and fat present, and
evaluating the body conformation (size and shape). We will also obtain a urine sample from the healthy cats only. In
addition, you will also be asked to complete a questionnaire about your cat’s diet and dietary supplement intake over the
past two weeks.

Benefits: All blood work (chemistry screen and complete blood count), urinalysis (for healthy cats only) and body condition
evaluation are covered by the study. The results of this study may yield information that may be beneficial for cats with
cancer in the future. If we find that cats with cancer have a syndrome similar to human cancer cachexia, future studies of
cats with cancer cachexia may yield information that may also be beneficial for people with cancer cachexia.
Comprehensive guide to cancer diagnosis and treatment in cats and dogs
© 2007 Pet Cancer Center. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
Last updated 10/5/2014
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