Impact of cachexia on outcomes in aggressive lymphomas

Reem Karmali*, Taha Alrifai, Ibtihaj A.M. Fughhi, Ronald Ng, Vineela Chukkapalli, Palmi Shah, Sanjib Basu, Sunita Nathan, Kelly Szymanski-Grant, Leo I. Gordon, Parameswaran Venugopal, Frank J. Penedo, Jeffrey A. Borgia

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Cancer cachexia is defined as a state of involuntary weight loss, attributed to altered body composition with muscle mass loss and/or loss of adiposity. Identifying the association between cancer cachexia and outcomes may pave the way for novel agents that target the cancer cachexia process. Clinical parameters for measurement of cancer cachexia are needed. We conducted a single-institution retrospective analysis that included 86 NHL patients with the aim of identifying an association between cancer cachexia and outcomes in aggressive lymphomas using the cachexia index (CXI) suggested by Jafri et al. (Clin Med Insights Oncol 9:87–93, 15). Impact of cachexia factors on progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) were assessed using log-rank test and Cox proportional hazards regression. Patients were dichotomized around the median CXI into “non-cachectic” (CXI ≥49.8, n = 41) and “cachectic” (CXI <49.8, n = 40) groups. Cachectic patients had significantly worse PFS (HR 2.18, p = 0.044) and OS (HR = 4.05, p = 0.004) than non-cachectic patients. Cachexia as defined by the CXI is prognostic in aggressive lymphomas and implies that novel therapeutic strategies directed at reversing cachexia may improve survival in this population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)951-956
Number of pages6
JournalAnnals of Hematology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2017


  • Cachexia
  • Non-Hodgkin lymphomas
  • Outcomes
  • Pathophysiology
  • Prognostic factors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology


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