Skeletal Muscle Wasting

Cancer cachexia is a wasting disease associated with a decline in skeletal muscle mass and function. Approximately 60 to 80 percent of people with advanced cancer exhibit this co-morbidity that is linked to increased mortality, disease morbidity, chemotherapeutic and surgical outcome, and quality of life. Researchers in the Skeletal Muscle Wasting and Progenitor Cell Biology Lab study how tumors (pancreatic and lung) disrupt organismal homeostasis to promote muscle wasting. Ongoing projects include studies to identify:

  • Tumor-derived cytokines and metabolites
  • Immune cell contributions to regeneration defects
  • The muscle stem cell or satellite cell response to cachectic factors

The focus of research in Dr. Doles' lab is on fully understanding these fundamental mechanisms of cachexia progression to improve clinical muscle wasting interventions.