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13.02.2018 | Original Article | Ausgabe 7/2018

Supportive Care in Cancer 7/2018

Randomized double-blind clinical trial of combined treatment with megestrol acetate plus celecoxib versus megestrol acetate alone in cachexia-anorexia syndrome induced by GI cancers

Supportive Care in Cancer > Ausgabe 7/2018
Bizhan Kouchaki, Ghasem Janbabai, Abbas Alipour, Shahram Ala, Samaneh Borhani, Ebrahim Salehifar
Wichtige Hinweise

Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (https://​doi.​org/​10.​1007/​s00520-018-4047-y) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.



Previous studies reported promising efficacy for celecoxib in the treatment of cancer cachexia. We designed this study to test the hypothesis that combination therapy with megestrol acetate (MA) plus celecoxib is superior to MA alone.


Ninety eligible gastrointestinal cancer patients randomly received either MA 320 mg/day plus placebo (arm1) or MA 320 mg/day plus celecoxib 200 mg/day (arm2). Patients were evaluated at baseline, then 1 and 2 months after starting interventions. The primary outcome was body weight. Secondary outcomes were quality of life, grip strength, appetite score, performance status, plasma albumin, CRP, IL-6, and Glasgow Prognostic Score.


Patients were comparable at baseline. Sixty patients were assessable for the first month and 33 patients for the second month. After 2 months, patients in arm1 (MA + placebo) and arm2 (MA + celecoxib) experienced 4.0 ± 3.4 and 2.2 ± 3.6Kg of weight gain respectively (P = 0.163). Changes relative to baseline were statistically significant in both arms of the study (P = 0.001). Regarding secondary outcomes, comparisons between groups did not show any statistically significant difference, but within-group changes were significant in both arms of the study.


Since both MA alone and MA plus celecoxib are associated with improvement of cachexia in GI cancer patients, this study failed to show that adding celecoxib (200 mg/day) to megestrol (320 mg/day) could enhance anti-cachexic effects of megestrol.

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