Fearon K, Strasser F, Anker SD, et al.
Lancet Oncol 2011;12:489-95

The authors used a formal consensus process to develop a definition, diagnostic criteria, and classification system specific to cancer cachexia. Cancer cachexia is defined as a multifactorial syndrome characterised by an ongoing loss of skeletal muscle mass (with or without loss of fat mass) that cannot be fully reversed by conventional nutritional support and leads to progressive functional impairment. The agreed diagnostic criterion for cachexia is weight loss greater than 5%, or weight loss greater than 2% in individuals already showing depletion according to current bodyweight and height or skeletal muscle mass (sarcopenia). The authors attempt to develop a clear classification of cachexia ranging from precachexia to refractory cachexia. It also identifies certain overall domains for assessment.