Anamorelin Improves Weight Gain in Patients With Lung Cancer Experiencing Cachexia

In patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), anamorelin improved weight gain over placebo in patients with cachexia, according to two trials, ANAM 17-20 and ANAM-17-21, presented at the 2023 ESMO Annual Congress.

Cancer cachexia is a syndrome that results in a symptom of dramatic weight loss, according to the National Cancer Institute. There is currently no medication for the treatment of cachexia.

A total of 636 adult patients (318 per study) with NSCLC and cachexia were enrolled within these studies, and were randomly assigned into two categories: the placebo group and the anamorelin (100 mg) group. The trials looked at the drug’s effectiveness within a total of 24 weeks, then followed up with each patient on week 26.

The primary objective of these studies was to measure the potential superiority of anamorelin over placebo when treating patients cachexia in patients with NSCLC, alongside the efficiency and safety overall of the drug.

Anamorelin improved body weight in both studies. It is immensely clinically significant while looking a this patients population, according to David Currow, deputy vice chancellor, University of Wollongong in Australia.

Anamorelin is a drug that stimulates appetite and influences glucose metabolism. It has been approved in Japan for the treatment of patients with NSCLC, gastric cancer, pancreatic cancer and colorectal cancer.

“As an oral medication, it is convenient for patients and because of its longer half-life life, it can be given once daily,” Currow explained during a presentation of the data.

Study data showed that anamorelin was favored over the placebo based on age, degree of weight loss, stage of disease, functional status and whether they underwent treatment with chemotherapy or immunotherapy.

When it comes to appetite, information is lacking when comparing data to those of the studies.

For patients in the study, those with higher inflammatory markers need to be studied in the future as a potential response.

When looking at treatment-emergent side effects, comparable outcomes were seen between the two groups. such as hyperglycemia, which wasn’t seen in the anamorelin arm. Anamorelin is seen, within these studies, to be safe and well tolerated as a use of therapy for patients with NSCLC.

The trials showed that body weight was improved within the anamorelin arm in patients with advanced NSCLC and cachexia and has remained consistent in comparison to other completed studies. Therapeutic potential for weight improvement was prominent.

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