ActRIIB – and cancer?

An interesting factoid from a talk I have seen today: an ActRIIB antagonist slows down cancer cachexia and increases survival.

Something else puzzles me. The two consequences have been linked for long. Cancer-induced muscle loss is a major cause of death, or so the generally-accepted wisdom goes. By this logic, anabolic steroids would be also useful. Some (rare) trials do show that. But even an increase in burger intake would help. For some reason, the medical community prefers to extend patients’ lives by three weeks, only if they suffer and pay as much as they would in three years. What is ActRIIB adding? If survival is increased by muscle mass increase, why not go for burgers?

I am intrigued about what ActRIIB blockade does to normal bodies. Can it be used by bodybuilders? Can it be used in cattle? If  not, does the muscle mass have a set point, along the lines of the body mass set point maintained by leptin?

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