This week in therapeutics

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Anemia; cachexia

Fibroblast activation protein (FAP)

Mouse studies suggest restoring normal levels of FAP expression in healthy tissues could help prevent cancer-associated cachexia and anemia. In mice, depletion of Fap-expressing cells decreased muscle mass and hematopoiesis compared with no depletion. In mouse models for colon cancer and pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma, compared with in healthy mice, Fap levels were lower in skeletal muscle and bone marrow and correlated with anemia and loss of muscle mass. Next steps could include identifying a strategy to restore FAP expression to healthy tissues during cancer to help prevent cachexia and anemia.

SciBX 6(25); doi:10.1038/scibx.2013.635
Published online June 27, 2013

Patent and licensing status undisclosed

Roberts, E.W. et al. J. Exp. Med.; published online May 27, 2013;
doi:10.1084/jem.20122344
Contact: Douglas T. Fearon, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, U.K.
e-mail:
dtf1000@cam.ac.uk