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Cancer Care Issues - Advice From Dr. Cary Presant

Cancer Fatigue may be Related to Inflammatory Conditions

Cary Presant, MD, Oncology, Hematology/Oncology, 06:15PM Sep 9, 2013

Fatigue is the most common problem about which cancer patients complain.  Therefore, it is important for us to consider anything that can alert us to which patients might be at greater risk of development of fatigue, and take time to discuss fatigue with them. 

An interesting article by J. Bower and co-authors (J. Clinical Oncology 2013; 31:1656) discussed possible genetic correlations with fatigue.  In over 170 early stage breast cancer patients, blood genotyping showed that polymorphisms in three genes related to cytokine expression were associated with fatigue (ILB-511C > T, IL6-174G > C and TNF-308G > A.)  The patients who had a higher number of genes associated with increased production of cytokines developed greater degrees of fatigue (P=0.002).  These genes were also associated with higher likelihood depression and more frequent occurrence of memory problems.

This information is of considerable interest.  Hypothetically, it suggests that taking steps to reduce inflammation in patients who are having inflammatory disease or pain that can be treated with anti-inflammatory agents might be associated with better control of fatigue.  It suggests ways in which anti-inflammatory interventions may be studied in future trials. 

Although it is speculative, making certain that prompt treatment of fatigue includes advising primary care physicians to continue taking care of inflammatory diseases which may also be present might help with control of this challenging symptom. 




About This Blog

Dr. Cary Presant describes research results, observations on oncology issues, and discussions on current cancer care topics that can help improve your quality oncology care and your oncology practice.

Disclosure: Cary A. Presant, MD, has disclosed the following relevant financial relationships:
Served as a director, officer, partner, employee, advisor, consultant or trustee for: Diatech Oncology; Digital Medical Network
Received research grant from: Diatech Oncology
Have a 5% or greater equity interest in: Diatech Oncology; Digital Medical Network
Received income in an amount equal to or greater than $250 from: Diatech Oncology
Served on the Board of Directors for: Medical Oncology Association of South California; Cancer Schmancer

  • Cary Presant

    Cary A. Presant, MD, FACP, a hematologist and medical oncologist, is a staff physician at Wilshire Oncology Medical Group. He has been director of cancer programs at Washington University School of Medicine, the Jewish Hospital of St. Louis, and the City of Hope National Medical Center in Los Angeles, California. He is currently Professor of Clinical Medicine at the University of Southern California School of Medicine. Dr. Presant's current research includes pharmacologic improvement of chemotherapy effectiveness by magnetic resonance spectroscopy, as well as the development of a new chemotherapy sensitivity test, based on apoptosis, for all types of cancer. He is the author of over 400 scientific articles in cancer treatment, cancer detection, chemotherapy, experimental tumor biology and pharmacology, liposomes for cancer diagnosis and therapy, magnetic resonance spectroscopy, measurement of quality of life in cancer patients, and quality care in oncology. As an author, Dr. Presant has written Navigating American Medicine, soon to be published, and is the physician columnist for the national patient Website Dr. Presant is past president of the California Division of the American Cancer Society, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Medical Oncology Association of Southern California (MOASC), past Director of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), and past president of the Association of Community Cancer Centers (ACCC).

The content of this blog does not necessarily reflect the viewpoints of Medscape.
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