Characteristics of Cancer-Related Fatigue and Concomitant Sleep Disturbance in Cancer Patients

Ivan H C Wu, Diwakar D Balachandran, Saadia A Faiz, Lara Bashoura, Carmen P Escalante, Ellen F Manzullo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


CONTEXT: Cancer patients often experience cancer-related fatigue (CRF) and sleep disturbances due to cancer and cancer treatment, and symptoms can persist long after treatment. Despite these common occurrences, few studies simultaneously characterize CRF and sleep architecture among cancer patients.

OBJECTIVES: The objective was to characterize CRF and the sleep architecture of patients seen in a CRF clinic and sleep clinic at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

METHODS: CRF Clinic medical records were retrospectively reviewed from September 1, 2006, to September 30, 2010, for self-reported performance status, fatigue, pain, sleep disturbance, depression, anxiety, and sleepiness (n = 219). Polysomnography results were recorded for those referred for additional sleep consultation (n = 39).

RESULTS: Notably, patients often reported fatigue, sleep disturbance, excessive daytime sleepiness, and a majority of patients referred for a sleep consultation were diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea (n = 33).

CONCLUSION: The results highlight the promise of an interdisciplinary collaboration between dedicated a CRF clinic and sleep clinic to conduct effective assessments to identify treatable CRF and sleep disorders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e1-e8
JournalJournal of Pain and Symptom Management
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2022
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors have no financial relationships to disclose. IHWU held a K99/R00 Pathway to Independence Award ( K99MD015296 ), and a fellowship funded by the Cancer Prevention & Research Institute of Texas ( RP170259 ; principal investigators, Shine Chang and Sanjay Shete), the NIH/NCI ( P30CA016672 ), and Lorna H. McNeill, Ph.D. The authors thank the MD Anderson Cancer Center Scientific Publications, Research Medical Library for editing the manuscript.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine


  • Disorders of Excessive Somnolence/diagnosis
  • Fatigue/diagnosis
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms/complications
  • Polysomnography
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sleep
  • Sleep Wake Disorders/diagnosis
  • sleep disturbance
  • sleep disorder
  • cancer
  • polysomnography
  • Cancer related fatigue

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural


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