Medical Imaging of Cachexia

  • days left to enroll
  • participants needed
  • sponsor
    Olivia Newton-John Cancer Research Institute
Updated on 25 May 2022
malignant disease
medical imaging


This is a pilot trial using 18F-FDG PET and DXA scans to determine whether these investigations are objective tools to assess cachexia.


This pilot study will establish the differences in BAT uptake of 18F-FDG in cachectic and non-cachectic cancer patients using PET imaging.

Patients willbe assessed for sarcopenia using a dual energy X-ray absorptiometry or bone densitometry scan (DXA). Given the variables which may affect uptake of BAT in cancer patients, this study will standardise patient preparation and PET scan procedure in order to obtain the most reliable assessment of BAT activity in all patients on study.

It is hypothesisd that use of this PET imaging technique, which is part of standard care to assess cancer progression, may assist clinicians in early identification of metabolic changes in a patient, with potential for early intervention and utility in monitoring success of treatments of cachexia.

A total of 40 patients will be evaluated, 20 patients with advanced/metastatic colorectal, non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) or pancreatic cancer without cachexia, and 20 patients with advanced/metastatic colorectal, non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), or pancreatic cancer with documented cachexia, all of whom are referred for standard of care 18F-FDG PET scans.

Condition Cancer Cachexia
Treatment 18F-FDG PET + Dexa Scan
Clinical Study IdentifierNCT04127981
SponsorOlivia Newton-John Cancer Research Institute
Last Modified on25 May 2022


Yes No Not Sure

Inclusion Criteria

Patients with malignant disease
ECOG Performance score of 0-2
Age ≥ 18 years
Life expectancy of >4 months at screening
Cachexia patient group only: Fulfils diagnostic criteria for cachexia: unintentional weight loss more than 5% over the previous 6 months, or more than 2% in individuals with a decreased body-mass index of <20kg/m2, or skeletal muscle wasting (sarcopenia)

Exclusion Criteria

Patients with uncontrolled Diabetes Mellitus
Psychological unstable persons presumed unfit to perform the investigations
Persons unable to lie or sit still for 1-2 hours
Pregnant patients
Patients who received high doses of radiotherapeutic radiation of the neck and/or upper chest in their medical history limiting nutritional intake
Patients who are receiving any chemotherapeutic agents which is limiting nutritional intake
Persons that received cervical or thoracic sympathectomy or have a nerve dysfunction which is likely to influence sympathetic nerves
The use of medication that influences the sympathetic nerve system: ß-blockers, α-blockers, central anti-hypertensives, certain anti-depression drugs (MAO inhibitors, tricyclic antidepressives), reserpine, cocaine, calcium channel blockers, labetalol, and certain tranquillizers (fenothiazines)
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