Cachexia is a condition associated with loss of weight and muscle mass in response to a chronic disease. The condition is a symptom of chronic disease such as cancer, diabetes, heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease etc. Amongst these, cancer is the main cause leading to cachexia. According to a study, it has been estimated that approximately 5 million Americans suffer from this condition. There are different conditions where a person loses weight; but cachexia is a condition where a person loses weight despite eating well. Usually a person who does not eat will lose fat but a person in this condition loses fat as well as muscle mass. Furthermore, it has been found that imbalance of certain substances in the body is responsible for developing cachexia.
This imbalance may be due to the rise in the cytokines level in the blood which causes weight loss as cytokines are inflammatory substances. This rise in cytokines can occur in response to chronic health conditions which trigger cachexia. It is important to diagnose cachexia in case of chronic diseases such as heart failure, cancer, diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease etc. on the basis of an estimated 9 million people affected by cachexia in industrialized regions. It is important to differentiate cachexia from sarcopenia. Sarcopenia and muscle wasting are associated with reduced exercise capacity affecting quality of life but does not involve weight loss as in cachexia. The first step in the treatment of cachexia involves resistance training to build muscle if the person is physically capable to do so since there are no medicines approved for the treatment of cachexia. However, certain off-label medications which have been used in treating cachexia involve those which reduce cytokine levels in the body, and medicines to increase appetite and sometimes growth hormones.
The cachexia treatment market is forecasted to grow in the future owing to the rise in cancer patients and unmet needs to overcome cancer symptoms and difficult conditions like cachexia. In response to the requirements, many pharma companies are now in the process of developing vaccines and new drugs to combat cancer and its related challenging conditions. There are numerous drugs in the pipeline for the treatment of cachexia and some of them include Anamorelin, Bimagrumab etc.
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The cachexia treatment market is segmented according to drug type, diet, exercise, and distribution channel. On the basis of drug type, the market is segmented into medications that reduce cytokines in the body, stimulate appetite such as Dronabinol, mega sterol acetate and corticosteroids, or medicines that block hormones associated with cachexia. Diet changes are suggested; however, they can rarely reverse the effects of cachexia. Exercise helps in building muscle mass. If a person is physically capable, resistance training using weights or resistance bands are helpful in treating muscle loss in cachexia.
Geographically, the cachexia market is segmented into five regions namely North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia Pacific (excluding Japan), and the Middle East & Africa. Though there is high demand for cachexia treatment drugs and supplements in all the regions, the market is currently dominated by developed regions such as the United States and Europe. Countries in Asia Pacific and Rest of the World are witnessing tremendous growth in healthcare infrastructure which is expected to propel the growth of the cachexia market.
Key players in the global cachexia market include Aeterna Zentaris Inc, Aphios Corporation, Novartis AG, Helsinn Healthcare S.A., PsiOxus Therapeutics Ltd, and Obexia AG.