Cancer-related Fatigue, Inflammation and Thyrotropin-releasing Hormone

Author(s): Jayesh Kamath

Journal Name: Current Aging Science

Volume 5 , Issue 3 , 2012

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Aging and aging related illnesses such as cancer have been associated with inflammatory changes. Cancerrelated behavioral comorbidities such as fatigue, sleep disturbances, depression have also been associated with inflammation, hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis dysregulation and other neuroendocrine changes. From a clinical perspective, cancer-related fatigue demonstrates striking similarities with the cytokine-induced sickness phenomenon in animal models.

Thyrotopin-releasing hormone (TRH) plays a homeostatic role in its interaction with several biological systems, including a critical role in its interactions with the immune system. Considerable evidence supports a pivotal role for TRH in the inflammatory processes with specific relevance to the “cytokine-induced sickness behavior” paradigm. Additionally, TRH exerts arousing and analeptic effects in instances of behavioral depression. In a small proof-of-concept study conducted by our group, we investigated TRH administration as a treatment fatigue in cancer survivors in comparison with saline administration using a double-blind, crossover design. We also evaluated impact of TRH/saline administration on the inflammatory markers in these patients. TRH administration was associated with significant improvement (p < 0.05) in fatigue levels as measured by the Visual Analog Scale-Energy (VAS-E), was associated with significant (p < 0.05) improvement in sleep disturbances and improved quality of life. Notably, TRH administration was associated with decrease in C-reactive protein (CRP) levels, a marker of inflammation. This decrease in CRP level with TRH administration was associated with improvement in energy levels as measured by the VAS-E. The present review supports potential utility of TRH-based therapeutics in medical and psychiatric disorders with underlying inflammatory processes.

Keywords: Cancer, fatigue, immune system, inflammation, thyrotropin-releasing hormone, TRH, Aging, aging related illnesses, sleep disturbances, depression

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Article Details

Year: 2012
Published on: 21 February, 2013
Page: [195 - 202]
Pages: 8
DOI: 10.2174/1874609811205030005
Price: $65

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