Longitudinal Study on Changes of Cancer-Related Fatigue in Elderly Patients with Postoperative Chemotherapy for Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer

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Tingting Wang
Yi Wang
Yiqing Luo
Hui Chen


Background: Cancer-related fatigue (CRF) stands out as one of the most prevalent subjective adverse reactions experienced by patients following chemotherapy, often resulting in unfavorable symptoms for elderly non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients during chemotherapy. Hence, the aim of this study was to explore the fluctuations in CRF levels among elderly NSCLC patients undergoing chemotherapy. Methods: This retrospective study involved 400 elderly patients diagnosed with NSCLC. Standardized guidelines were employed to direct patient care following lung cancer surgery (T0), subsequent to the first (T1), second (T2), third (T3), and fourth (T4) cycles of chemotherapy. At various intervals, all patients underwent assessments utilizing the Piper Fatigue Scale, Karnofsky Performance Status (KPS) Scale, Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) Scale, and Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale. Additionally, serum levels of IL-6 and TNF-α were quantified using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Results: Throughout the treatment regimen, patients exhibited a declining trend in CRF, CD-RISC, and KPS scores (p < 0.05, T0 vs T4), whereas the PSQI score demonstrated a notable increase (p < 0.05, T0 vs T4). Furthermore, ELISA results revealed that as treatment advanced, the average levels of inflammatory markers interleukin 6 (IL-6) and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α during the T4 period significantly decreased compared to those at T0 (p < 0.05). Conclusion: As the number of chemotherapy treatments for elderly NSCLC patients increased, the severity of CRF and the manifestations of sleep disorders were escalated. Additionally, physical function, psychological resilience, as well as IL-6 and TNF-α levels, exhibited a downward trend.

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Wang, Tingting, et al. “Longitudinal Study on Changes of Cancer-Related Fatigue in Elderly Patients With Postoperative Chemotherapy for Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer”. Annali Italiani Di Chirurgia, vol. 95, no. 1, Feb. 2024, pp. 22-29, https://annaliitalianidichirurgia.it/index.php/aic/article/view/3133.