Hormone May Aid Gastric Cancer Patients

OSAKA, Japan, April 1 (UPI) — Japanese medical researchers say they identified a protein that might help reduce the incidence of malnutrition in gastric cancer patients

Scientists from Osaka University’s School of Medicine said gastric cancer patients who have undergone surgery to remove all or part of their stomach often suffer post-operative weight loss. But the researchers said they found the hormone ghrelin might improve appetite and provide other beneficial affects.

“Our study provides convincing data for the beneficial effects of ghrelin — the only gastrointestinal hormone known to stimulate appetite — on body weight and dietary activity after gastrectomy,” said Dr. Shuji Takiguchi, the study’s lead author. “Although there are some issues to be resolved before clinical use, surgeons dealing with gastric cancers and other gastroesophageal diseases should be encouraged by the availability of ghrelin.”

The research is reported in the journal Gastroenterology.

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