Fatigue and sleep quality are associated with changes in inflammatory markers in breast cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy.
ABSTRACT Fatigue and sleep disturbances are two of the most common and distressing symptoms reported by cancer patients. Fatigue and sleep are also correlated with each other. While fatigue has been reported to be associated with some inflammatory markers, data about the relationship between cancer-related sleep disturbances and inflammatory markers are limited. This study examined the relationship between fatigue and sleep, measured both subjectively and objectively, and inflammatory markers in a sample of breast cancer patients before and during chemotherapy. Fifty-three women with newly diagnosed stage I-III breast cancer scheduled to receive at least four 3-week cycles of chemotherapy participated in this longitudinal study. Fatigue was assessed with the Multidimensional Fatigue Symptom Inventory-Short Form (MFSI-SF), sleep quality was assessed with the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) and objective sleep was measured with actigraphy. Three inflammatory markers were examined: Interleukin-6 (IL-6), Interleukin-1 receptor antagonist (IL-1RA) and C-reactive protein (CRP). Data were collected before (baseline) and during cycle 1 and cycle 4 of chemotherapy. Compared to baseline, more fatigue was reported, levels of IL-6 increased and IL-1RA decreased during chemotherapy. Reports of sleep quality remained poor. Mixed model analyses examining changes from baseline to each treatment time point revealed overall positive relationships between changes in total MFSI-SF scores and IL-6, between changes in total PSQI scores and IL-6 and IL-1RA, and between total wake time at night and CRP (all p's<0.05). These relationships suggest that cancer-related fatigue and sleep disturbances may share common underlying biochemical mechanisms.
- SourceAvailable from: Najib Aziz[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Fatigue is a common problem among cancer patients and survivors, yet the mechanisms underlying the occurrence and persistence of this symptom are not known. Activation of the immune system may evoke feelings of fatigue, which are mediated by proinflammatory cytokines. We examined whether fatigued breast cancer survivors would show elevations in proinflammatory cytokines and markers of cytokine activity compared with nonfatigued survivors. Differences in lymphocyte subsets, cortisol, and behavioral symptoms associated with proinflammatory cytokines were also assessed. Forty breast cancer survivors (20 fatigued, 20 nonfatigued) provided blood samples at visits scheduled to control for diurnal variability. Cytokines, soluble markers of cytokine activity, and cortisol were measured by immunoassay and lymphocyte subsets by flow cytometry. Participants also completed questionnaires measuring demographic, medical, and behavioral variables. Fatigued breast cancer survivors had significantly higher serum levels of several markers associated with proinflammatory cytokine activity than nonfatigued survivors, including interleukin-1 receptor antagonist (IL-1ra), soluble tumor necrosis factor receptor type II (sTNF-RII), and neopterin. They were also more likely to report behavioral problems that co-occur with fatigue in the context of immune activation. Fatigued survivors had significantly lower serum levels of cortisol than the nonfatigued group as well as differences in two lymphocyte populations. Fatigued breast cancer survivors showed elevations in serum markers associated with proinflammatory cytokine activity an average of 5 years after diagnosis. Results suggest mechanisms through which enduring immune activation may occur, including alterations in cortisol and in lymphocyte subsets.Psychosomatic Medicine 64(4):604-11. · 4.08 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Fatigue, depression, and sleep disturbance are common adverse effects of cancer treatment and frequently co-occur. However, the possibility that inflammatory processes may underlie this constellation of symptoms has not been examined. Women (N = 103) who had recently finished primary treatment (ie, surgery, radiation, chemotherapy) for early-stage breast cancer completed self-report scales and provided blood samples for determination of plasma levels of inflammatory markers: soluble tumor necrosis factor (TNF) receptor II (sTNF-RII), interleukin-1 receptor antagonist, and C-reactive protein. Symptoms were elevated at the end of treatment; greater than 60% of participants reported clinically significant problems with fatigue and sleep, and 25% reported elevated depressive symptoms. Women treated with chemotherapy endorsed higher levels of all symptoms and also had higher plasma levels of sTNF-RII than women who did not receive chemotherapy (all P < .05). Fatigue was positively associated with sTNF-RII, particularly in the chemotherapy-treated group (P < .05). Depressive symptoms and sleep problems were correlated with fatigue but not with inflammatory markers. This study confirms high rates of behavioral symptoms in breast cancer survivors, particularly those treated with chemotherapy, and indicates a role for TNF-α signaling as a contributor to postchemotherapy fatigue. Results also suggest that fatigue, sleep disturbance, and depression may stem from distinct biologic processes in post-treatment survivors, with inflammatory signaling contributing relatively specifically to fatigue.Journal of Clinical Oncology 08/2011; 29(26):3517-22. · 18.04 Impact Factor
Article: Breast Cancer and Fatigue.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Fatigue is a common and disabling symptom in breast cancer patients and survivors. A rather nebulous concept, fatigue overlaps with sleepiness and depressed mood. In this chapter, we cover methods for assessing fatigue; describe the occurrence of fatigue before, during and after initial treatment; present possible underlying mechanisms of fatigue; and, enumerate approaches to its treatment.Sleep Medicine Clinics 04/2008; 3(1):61-71.