Ovarian Cancer Coverage from Every Angle

Long-Term Fatigue Among Survivors of Epithelial Ovarian Cancer

By: Andrew Goldstein
Posted: Monday, May 20, 2019

Although survivors of epithelial ovarian cancer reported similar quality of life as randomly selected healthy controls, they also experienced significantly higher levels of long-term fatigue. These results are based on the VIVROVAIRE I study, conducted by Florence Joly, MD, PhD, of Centre François Baclesse, Caen, in France, and colleagues and published in Annals of Oncology. Among survivors, long-term fatigue is associated with a decline in functional well-being and epithelial ovarian cancer treatment-related symptoms.

The researchers analyzed self-reported questionnaires including Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness Therapy–Fatigue (FACIT-F), Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy–General or Ovarian Cancer (FACT-G/O), FACT-Ntx (neurotoxicity), Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, Insomnia Severity Index, and International Physical Activity Questionnaire, for 318 epithelial ovarian cancer survivors and 318 sociodemographically similar healthy controls. Epithelial ovarian cancer survivors were an average of 63 years old. Almost all patients (99%) had received platinum and taxane chemotherapy. About half had International Federation of Gynecologists and Obstetricians (FIGO) stage I/II disease, and nearly half had FIGO stage III/IV disease.

Epithelial ovarian cancer survivors reported significantly lower FACIT-F scores, functional well-being, FACT-O scores, and FACT-Ntx scores; they also had more severe long-term fatigue and depression, less interest in sex, higher levels of neurotoxicity and severe neurotoxicity, and poorer sleep quality. In multivariate analyses, epithelial ovarian cancer survivors with high levels of depression, neurotoxicity, and sleep disturbance had an increased risk of developing severe long-term fatigue

Based on these results, Dr. Joly and colleagues recommended that depression, neuropathy, and sleep disturbance be detected early and treated for survivors of epithelial ovarian cancer. 

Disclosure: The study authors’ disclosure information may be found at academic.oup.com.

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