Cancer-Related Fatigue and the Adaptive Response to Oxidative Stress

Purpose: Cancer-related fatigue (CRF) is often the most common, troublesome, and costly symptom of cancer treatment. Limited understanding of the etiology of CRF has precluded the development of both biologically-based detection methods to determine those at risk for symptom occurrence and tailored interventions for management. Therefore, to overcome these limitations, the purpose of this study is to allow for an exploration of the genetic correlates of CRF in men with non-metastatic prostate cancer (NM-PC) scheduled to receive external beam radiation therapy (EBRT).

Study population: This study will enroll 78 men with NM-PC scheduled to receive EBRT.

Design: Participants will complete 6 study visits: baseline (before start of treatment), midpoint of treatment, completion of treatment, and about 6 months, 1 year, and 2 years after treatment completion. At each study visit, participants will be provided a set of self-report questionnaires that will assess their symptom experience and quality of life and blood will be collected via a peripheral blood draw for evaluation of potential genetic and biologic markers of CRF.

Expected Outcomes: We anticipate that findings from this line of research will provide evidence of gene-expression and metabolic pathways that might contribute to the development of acute and persistent CRF. These findings can help optimize precision medicine in oncology by identifying prognostic genetic markers that can define a unique fatigue phenotype, as well as identify biologically-relevant therapeutic targets essential to managing CRF.

Funding: This research is supported by the National Institute of Nursing Research of the National Institutes of Health under award number R00NR015822.