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Fatigue and MDS Cancer


Trainee: Callum Brownstein (Postdoctoral Fellow)

Collaborators: Prof Denis Guyotat & Dr Elisabeth Daguenet (Lucien Neuwirth Cancer Institute, St-Etienne)


Chronic fatigue is the most common and distressing symptom of myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS), a group of haematopoietic stem cell disorders characterised by ineffective haematopoiesis, with an estimated prevalence of 90% amongst MDS patients. While anaemia is the most common objective manifestation of MDS, with obvious associations with fatigue, the correlation between anaemia and fatigue in MDS is weak, and evidence on treatments which temporarily mitigate anemia is equivocal regarding the effects on fatigue. At present, little is known on what other factors might contribute to fatigue in MDS. Accordingly, the aim of our project at LIBM is to gain a better understanding of the aetiology of fatigue in MDS. To achieve this aim, MDS patients will be studied before and after receiving red-blood-cell-transfusion therapy. A host of fatigue-related variables will be measured (inflammation, oxidative stress, exercise-capacity and vascular function), and comparisons will be made with patients who show reductions in fatigue following transfusions, and those who do not. The results from this study will help provide insight into the aetiology of chronic fatigue in MDS in order to provide a scientific basis for future interventions aimed at ameliorating this symptom.

Key words: aerobic capacity, anemia, cancer-related fatigue, cardio-vascular function, exercise, inflammation, oxidative stress.