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Support Care Cancer. 2012 Aug;20(8):1745-53. doi: 10.1007/s00520-011-1268-8. Epub 2011 Sep 27.

Thyrotropin-releasing hormone as a treatment for cancer-related fatigue: a randomized controlled study.

Author information

1
Department of Psychiatry, University of Connecticut Health Center, 10 Talcott Notch Road, Farmington, CT, USA. jkamath@uchc.edu

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Fatigue is a common and often disabling symptom for cancer patients. To date, no pharmacological interventions have shown reliable efficacy in treatment of cancer-related fatigue (CF). Thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH), a key regulator of homeostasis, exerts arousing and analeptic actions in instances of behavioral depression. In the present pilot, randomized, placebo-controlled, crossover study, we investigated the efficacy and safety of TRH as a treatment for CF.

METHODS:

Patients with cancer experiencing significant fatigue without medically reversible causes were enrolled in this study. The primary outcome measure was the visual analog scale for energy (VAS-E) assessed at 3, 7, and 24 h post-study medication administration. Secondary outcome measures included the profile of mood states (POMS) questionnaire, a 6-min walking test, the hospital anxiety and depression scale, the Leeds sleep questionnaire, and assessment of quality of life using the Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness Therapy-Fatigue (FACIT-F).

RESULTS:

Eight patients completed the study. TRH administration was associated with significant improvement in fatigue level as measured by the VAS-E, the fatigue and vigor subscales of the POMS, and the fatigue subscale of FACIT-F (p < 0.05). It was also associated with a positive impact on quality of life. TRH administration was associated with transient increases in blood pressure and heart rate.

CONCLUSIONS:

TRH administration was efficacious, safe, and tolerable in the treatment of CF with a positive impact on quality of life. These results provide a crucial impetus for pursuing TRH therapeutics to treat CF.

PMID:
21947558
DOI:
10.1007/s00520-011-1268-8
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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