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Albumin synthesis rates are not decreased in hypoalbuminemic cachectic cancer patients with an ongoing acute-phase protein response

Fearon, K.C.H., Falconer, J.S., Stuart, J., Slater, C.H., McMillan, D.C., Ross, J., and Preston, T. (1998) Albumin synthesis rates are not decreased in hypoalbuminemic cachectic cancer patients with an ongoing acute-phase protein response. Annals of Surgery, 227 (2). pp. 249-254. ISSN 0003-4932

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Abstract

Objective: To determine whether suppression of albumin synthesis contributes to the hypoalbuminemia observed in weight-losing cancer patients with evidence of an ongoing acute-phase protein response (APPR). Background Data: Proinflammatory cytokines such as tumor necrosis factor (TNF) and interleukin 6 (IL-6) are known to downregulate albumin synthesis and increase acute-phase protein production in isolated hepatocytes. However, whether albumin synthesis is suppressed in hypoalbuminemic cancer patients with evidence of an ongoing acute-phase response is unknown. Methods: Albumin synthesis rates were determined in six healthy controls and in six weight-losing pancreatic cancer patients with an ongoing APPR using a flooding dose technique with [2H5]-phenylalanine. The presence of an APPR was defined as a serum C-reactive protein concentration > 10 mg/L. Serum cytokines (TNF, IL-6) and soluble TNF receptors (sTNF-R 55 and 75), along with serum cortisol and insulin, were also measured in both groups. Results: and increased serum C-reactive protein concentrations (72 [23-126] vs. <5 mg/L; p < 0.01) when compared with controls. TNF was not detected in either group. sTNF-R 55 levels were significantly elevated in the cancer patients (3.8 [1.9-8.1] vs. 1.2 pg/mL [0.9-2.2]; p < 0.01). Circulating IL-6, insulin, and cortisol concentrations were not significantly different between the groups. The intravascular albumin mass was lower (88 [56-93] vs. 133 g [105-177]; p < 0.01), but the intravascular albumin fractional synthetic rate was higher (13.9 [13.5-18.5] vs. 10.3%/d [71-11.3]; p < 0.01) in the cancer patients compared with the controls. The total intravascular albumin synthetic rate was, however, similar between the two groups (12.7 [7.7-15.7] vs. 11.7 g/d [8.5-18.7]; p NS). Conclusions: In weight-losing pancreatic cancer patients with evidence of an ongoing APPR, hypoalbuminemia is not caused by a decreased rate of albumin synthesis.

Item Type:Article
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s):McMillan, Prof Donald
Authors: Fearon, K.C.H., Falconer, J.S., Stuart, J., Slater, C.H., McMillan, D.C., Ross, J., and Preston, T.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Medicine
Journal Name:Annals of Surgery
ISSN:0003-4932
ISSN (Online):1528-1140

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