Cachexia, characterised by weight loss, muscle atrophy and fatigue, occurs in many individuals with cancer and causes more than 20% of cancer-related deaths. Animal models of the condition exist, but many of their phenotypes have not been comprehensively characterised. Murphy et al. analysed colon-26 (C-26) tumour-bearing mice, a common mouse model of cancer cachexia, for functional and metabolic defects: they find impairments in tests of physical activity, as well as reduced strength and increased fatigability of muscle tissues. Moreover, these mice have metabolic impairments such as reduced oxygen uptake and increased fat oxidation. This characterisation should help to identify relevant end points for future studies, and supports the continued use of C-26 tumour-bearing mice as model for human cancer cachexia. Page 533
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