Investigating Molecular-Genetic Correlates of Fatigue Experienced by Cancer Patients Receiving Treatment
Although the underlying mechanisms of fatigue have been studied in several disease
conditions, the etiology, mechanisms, and risk factors remain elusive, and this symptom
remains poorly managed at present. Longitudinal studies related to treatment-related fatigue
in cancer patients have been conducted, but there are limited data showing changes in
molecular mechanisms before and after cancer therapy which can identify individuals who are
at risk to experience fatigue during and after therapy. Fatigue is conceptualized as a
multidimensional symptom which incorporates temporal, sensory, cognitive/mental,
affective/emotional, behavioral, and physiological dimensions. This prospective,
observational study will explore the molecular-genetic mechanisms underlying fatigue
experienced by cancer patients receiving various therapies (e.g. immune therapy, hormone
therapy, and chemotherapy).
The primary objective of the study is to describe the changes in the self-reported fatigue,
depression, and health-related quality of life (HRQOL) experienced by cancer patients
before, during, and after cancer therapy. The secondary objectives of this study are to
investigate the pro-inflammatory cytokine profile (TNFalpha, IGF-I, IL-6, IL-8, TGFalpha and
beta), determine changes in gene expression from peripheral blood and tissue samples before,
during, and after cancer treatment and to relate changes in the levels of these biological
markers to self-reported fatigue, depression, and HRQOL scores. This study also aims to
measure the skeletal muscle strength, cognitive function, activity levels and energy
expenditure of patients before, during, and at completion of cancer treatment and relate
these findings with self-reported fatigue, depression, and HRQOL scores.
Time Perspective: Prospective
The primary outcomes of this study are self-reported fatigue, depression, and quality of life scores of patients before, at midpoint, and at completion of each cycle of their cancer treatment.
Leorey N Saligan, C.R.N.P.
National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR)
United States: Federal Government
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