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Are the symptoms of cancer and cancer treatment due to a shared biologic mechanism?†
A cytokine-immunologic model of cancer symptoms
Version of Record online: 19 MAY 2003
Copyright © 2003 American Cancer Society
Volume 97, Issue 11, pages 2919–2925, 1 June 2003
How to Cite
Cleeland, C. S., Bennett, G. J., Dantzer, R., Dougherty, P. M., Dunn, A. J., Meyers, C. A., Miller, A. H., Payne, R., Reuben, J. M., Wang, X. S. and Lee, B.-N. (2003), Are the symptoms of cancer and cancer treatment due to a shared biologic mechanism?. Cancer, 97: 2919–2925. doi: 10.1002/cncr.11382
The authors are members of a working group on cytokines and cancer symptoms. Dr. Cleeland is the workshop chair. Workshop rapporteurs include Keith E. Langley, Ph.D. (Medical Writing Department, Amgen Inc., Thousand Oaks, CA).
- Issue online: 19 MAY 2003
- Version of Record online: 19 MAY 2003
- Manuscript Accepted: 17 FEB 2003
- Manuscript Received: 12 NOV 2002
- Amgen, Inc., Thousand Oaks, California
- sickness behavior
Cancers and cancer treatments produce multiple symptoms that collectively cause a symptom burden for patients. These symptoms include pain, wasting, fatigue, cognitive impairment, anxiety, and depression, many of which co-occur. There is growing recognition that at least some of these symptoms may share common biologic mechanisms.
In November 2001, basic and clinical scientists met to consider evidence for a cytokine-immunologic model of symptom expression along with directions for future research.
The characteristics of cytokine-induced sickness behavior in animal models have much in common with those of symptomatic cancer patients. Sickness behavior refers to a set of physiologic and behavioral responses observed in animals after the administration of infectious or inflammatory agents or certain proinflammatory cytokines. In some cases, these responses can be prevented by cytokine antagonists. A combination of animal and human research suggests that several cancer-related symptoms may involve the actions of proinflammatory cytokines.
Based on the similarities between cancer symptoms and sickness behavior, the authors discussed approaches to further test the implications of the relationship between inflammatory cytokines and symptoms for both symptom treatment and symptom prevention. Cancer 2003;97:2919–25. © 2003 American Cancer Society.