Neary, N.M., Small, C.J., Wren, A.M., Lee, J.L., Druce, M.R., Palmieri, C., . . . Bloom, S.R. (2004). Ghrelin increases energy intake in cancer patients with impaired appetite: Acute, randomized, placebo-controlled trial. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, 89, 2832–2836.doi: 10.1210/jc.2003-031768
To determine whether ghrelin stimulates appetite in patients with cancer who have anorexia. Ghrelin is an appetite-stimulating hormone.
Patients received ghrelin (5 pmol/kg/min) or saline; four patients received ghrelin then saline (n = 4) or saline followed by ghrelin (n = 3).
Patients were recruited from oncology clinics at Charing Cross Hospital (United Kingdom).
The study was a prospective, randomized, placebo-controlled, crossover clinical trial.
Energy intake from a buffet meal during saline or ghrelin infusion indicated there was a 31% increase in energy intake in patients during the ghrelin infusion, and greater meal appreciation (by 28 +/- 8%). No side effects of the ghrelin therapy were observed. No changes were reported in levels of insulin, glucose, or triglycerides. Patients recorded greater food consumption on the days they received the ghrelin.
Further investigations are needed before conclusions can be drawn.