Testosterone Research Brings New Hope For Cancer Patients

Loss of body mass is responsible for approximately 20 percent of cancer deaths. New research targeted this loss, known as cachexia, using the natural hormone testosterone and found increased quality of life for cancer patients.

Dr. Melinda Sheffield-Moore, professor and head of the Department of Health and Kinesiology, and researchers at University of Texas Medical Branch found that testosterone can maintain or improve lean body mass in cancer patients.

These findings are significant for cancer patients suffering from the loss of fat, skeletal muscle and muscle function caused by cancer. This loss can reduce patients eligibility to undergo treatments like radiation and chemotherapy.

This National Cancer Institute grant-funded research is significant, as there are currently no established therapies targeting this loss of body. Dr. Sheffield-Moore and her team wanted to show that the naturally-occurring hormone testosterone could increase quality of life.

“We hoped to demonstrate these patients would go from not feeling well enough to even get out of bed to at least being able to have some basic quality of life that allows them to take care of themselves and receive therapy,” Dr. Sheffield-Moore said.

Read more at the College of Education and Human Development.