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Associations Between Cytokine Genes and a Symptom Cluster of Pain, Fatigue, Sleep Disturbance, and Depression in Patients Prior to Breast Cancer Surgery


Pain, fatigue, sleep disturbance, and depression are common and frequently occurring symptoms in oncology patients. This symptom cluster is often attributed to the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines. The purposes of this study were to determine whether distinct latent classes of patients with breast cancer (n=398) could be identified based on their experience with this symptom cluster; determine whether patients in these latent classes differed on demographic and clinical characteristics; and to determine whether variations in cytokine genes were associated with latent class membership. Three distinct latent classes were identified: (All Low (61.0%), Low Pain and High Fatigue (31.6%), All High (7.1%)). Compared to patients in the All Low class, patients in the ALL High class were significantly younger, had less education, were more likely to be Non-White, had a lower annual income, were more likely to live alone, had a lower functional status, had a higher comorbidity score, and had more advanced disease. Significant associations were found between interleukin (IL) 6 rs2069845, IL13 rs1295686, and tumor necrosis factor alpha rs18800610 and latent class membership. Findings suggest that variations in pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokine genes are associated with this symptom cluster in breast cancer patients.

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