Cancer-related fatigue (CRF) is a highly prevalent, debilitating, and persistent symptom experienced by patients receiving cancer treatments. Up to 71% of men with prostate cancer receiving radiation therapy experience acute and persistent CRF. There is neither an effective therapy nor a diagnostic biomarker for CRF. This pilot study aimed to discover potential biomarkers associated with chronic CRF in men with prostate cancer receiving radiation therapy.
We used a longitudinal repeated-measures research design. Twenty men with prostate cancer undergoing radiation therapy completed all study visits. CRF was evaluated by a well-established and validated questionnaire, the Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System for Fatigue (PROMIS-F) Short Form. In addition, peripheral blood mononuclear cells were harvested to quantify ribonucleic acid (RNA) gene expression of mitochondria-related genes. Data were collected before, during, on completion, and 24 months postradiation therapy and analyzed using paired t-tests and repeated-measures analysis of variance.
The mean of the PROMIS-F T score was significantly increased over time in patients with prostate cancer, remaining elevated at 24 months postradiation therapy compared to baseline. A significant downregulated BC1 ubiquinol-cytochrome c reductase synthesis-like (BCS1L) was observed over time during radiation therapy and at 24 months postradiation therapy. An increased PROMIS-F score was trended with downregulated BCS1L in patients 24 months after completing radiation therapy.
This is the first evidence to describe altered messenger RNA for BCS1L in chronic CRF using the PROMIS-F measure with men receiving radiation therapy for prostate cancer.
Our results suggest that peripheral blood mononuclear cell messenger RNA for BCS1L is a potential biomarker and therapeutic target for radiation therapy-induced chronic CRF in this clinical population.