Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

St. Jude finds anti-leukemia drug increases patient fatigue

06.11.2007
Finding that dexamethasone increases fatigue in children suggests that altering timing or dosing of this drug could lessen troublesome effect on sleep and increase quality of life for patients and their families

The anti-leukemia drug dexamethasone contributes to a relentless fatigue and poor quality of sleep in children undergoing treatment for acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), according to a new study from St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. The finding suggests that clinicians could improve the quality of life for these children by developing new methods of drug administration that reduce or eliminate these side effects.

The St. Jude team showed that dexamethasone significantly increased patients?fatigue, length of daytime naps, frequency of awakening at night and the amount of restlessness during sleep. The findings also suggest that before initiation of continuation therapy for ALL, health care workers should prepare patients and families to expect an increase in disrupted sleep and fatigue during dexamethasone treatment. Continuation therapy is the long-term treatment that occurs following the initial intensive use of anti-cancer drugs designed to quickly reduce the number of cancer cells.

“Parents and patients have long reported altered behaviors during dexamethasone treatment, but this is the first trial to document that disrupted sleep and fatigue are behavioral indicators of patients?response to the treatment,?said Pamela Hinds, Ph.D., R.N., director of the Division of Nursing Research at St. Jude. Hinds is the first author of this study, which appears in the online version of the journal “Cancer.?

Previous studies had found that dexamethasone was especially effective in the treatment of ALL, but that it could also cause a variety of side effects in children, including fatigue. Therefore, the St. Jude team designed the current study to determine if the direct and consistent link between dexamenthasone and fatigue and disrupted sleep in children was significant and common.

“Before we could begin to revise the way we give dexamethasone to children we had to establish if the drug routinely disrupts the sleep of children, or whether it’s only an occasional problem among specific children,?Hinds said. “We found that it’s a widespread problem across all age groups.?The study included 100 pediatric patients, with an average age of nine years, who were treated at St. Jude, Texas Children’s Cancer Center in Houston and Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto.

Researchers monitored the sleep activity of children during two consecutive five-day periods by having them wear a wristwatch-style device called an actigraph, which senses motion and stores the information on a computer chip. The children did not receive dexamethasone during the first five-day period, but were treated with the drug during the second period. In addition, parents kept a “sleep diary,?in which they recorded their daily perceptions of their child’s sleep and nap patterns during the previous 24-hour period. Children, ages 7 to 12 years, and adolescents, ages 13 to 18, completed surveys, rating how tired they were; and parents filled out surveys about their perception of their child’s fatigue.

“Now that we have demonstrated that dexamethasone is so disruptive of sleep and causes profound fatigue in children with ALL, we will study ways to reduce these troublesome side effects, while still allowing the patients to get full benefit of the treatment,?said Ching-Hon Pui, M.D., chair of the St. Jude Department of Oncology and the paper’s senior author. “This would help us continue to improve the already high quality of care we provide to children with ALL.?

Carrie Strehlau | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.stjude.org

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Routing gene therapy directly into the brain
07.12.2017 | Boston Children's Hospital

nachricht New Hope for Cancer Therapies: Targeted Monitoring may help Improve Tumor Treatment
01.12.2017 | Berliner Institut für Gesundheitsforschung / Berlin Institute of Health (BIH)

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Towards data storage at the single molecule level

The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.

Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...

Im Focus: Successful Mechanical Testing of Nanowires

With innovative experiments, researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrums Geesthacht and the Technical University Hamburg unravel why tiny metallic structures are extremely strong

Light-weight and simultaneously strong – porous metallic nanomaterials promise interesting applications as, for instance, for future aeroplanes with enhanced...

Im Focus: Virtual Reality for Bacteria

An interdisciplinary group of researchers interfaced individual bacteria with a computer to build a hybrid bio-digital circuit - Study published in Nature Communications

Scientists at the Institute of Science and Technology Austria (IST Austria) have managed to control the behavior of individual bacteria by connecting them to a...

Im Focus: A space-time sensor for light-matter interactions

Physicists in the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (run jointly by LMU Munich and the Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics) have developed an attosecond electron microscope that allows them to visualize the dispersion of light in time and space, and observe the motions of electrons in atoms.

The most basic of all physical interactions in nature is that between light and matter. This interaction takes place in attosecond times (i.e. billionths of a...

Im Focus: A transistor of graphene nanoribbons

Transistors based on carbon nanostructures: what sounds like a futuristic dream could be reality in just a few years' time. An international research team working with Empa has now succeeded in producing nanotransistors from graphene ribbons that are only a few atoms wide, as reported in the current issue of the trade journal "Nature Communications."

Graphene ribbons that are only a few atoms wide, so-called graphene nanoribbons, have special electrical properties that make them promising candidates for the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

AKL’18: The opportunities and challenges of digitalization in the laser industry

07.12.2017 | Event News

Blockchain is becoming more important in the energy market

05.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Making fuel out of thick air

08.12.2017 | Life Sciences

Rules for superconductivity mirrored in 'excitonic insulator'

08.12.2017 | Information Technology

Smartphone case offers blood glucose monitoring on the go

08.12.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>