Effects of serum albumin, calcium levels, cancer stage and performance status on weight loss in parathyroid hormone-related peptide positive or negative patients with cancer

Ji Yeon Lee, Namki Hong, Hye Ryun Kim, Byung Wan Lee, Eun Seok Kang, Bong Soo Cha, Yong Ho Lee

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Background: A recent animal study showed that parathyroid hormone-related peptide (PTHrP) is associated with cancer cachexia by promoting adipose tissue browning, and we previously demonstrated that PTHrP predicts weight loss (WL) in patients with cancer. In this study, we investigated whether prediction of WL by PTHrP is influenced by clinical factors such as serum albumin, corrected calcium levels, cancer stage, and performance status (PS). Methods: A cohort of 219 patients with cancer whose PTHrP level was measured was enrolled and followed for body weight (BW) changes. Subjects were divided into two groups by serum albumin (cutoff value, 3.7 g/dL), corrected calcium (cutoff value, 10.5 mg/dL), cancer stage (stage 1 to 3 or 4), or PS (Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group 0 to 1 or 2 to 4), respectively. Clinically significant WL was defined as either percent of BW change (% BW) < -5% or % BW < -2% plus body mass index (BMI) < 20 kg/m 2 . Results: After a median follow-up of 327 days, 74 patients (33.8%) experienced clinically significant WL. A positive PTHrP level was associated with a 2-fold increased risk of WL after adjusting for age, baseline BMI, serum albumin, corrected calcium level, cancer stage, and PS. The effect of PTHrP on WL remained significant in patients with low serum albumin, stage 4 cancer, and good PS. Regardless of calcium level, the effect of PTHrP on WL was maintained, although there was an additive effect of higher calcium and PTHrP levels. Conclusion: Early recognition of patients with advanced cancer who are PTHrP positive with hypercalcemia or hypoalbuminemia is needed for their clinical management.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)97-104
Number of pages8
JournalEndocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Mar 1


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology

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