MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Traver Wright, Ph.D.
Research Assistant Professor
Department of Health and Kinesiology
Texas A&M University
College Station, TX
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?
Response: Many cancer patients suffer from a loss of body mass known as cachexia which results in not only a loss of fat, but a debilitating loss of muscle mass and function. This cachexia negatively impacts patient mobility and quality of life, and can also reduce their eligibility to undergo treatments such as radiation and chemotherapy. Despite the profound negative consequences of cachexia, there are no established therapies to directly address this debilitating loss of body mass during treatment.
In this National Cancer Institute funded double-blind, placebo-controlled study we examined the effectiveness of 7 weeks of treatment with the muscle-building hormone testosterone to preserve the body condition of men and women with cervical or head and neck cancer. Twenty-one patients received weekly injections of either placebo or testosterone. Over the 7 weeks of treatment, patients were monitored for changes in body composition, activity level, physical ability, and questionnaires regarding quality of life and well-being.