Purpose: Although fatigue is a common problem for men with prostate cancer undergoing androgen deprivation therapy (ADT), there has been little systematic research on this issue. The present study examined changes in fatigue among prostate cancer patients receiving ADT compared to controls and predictors of heightened fatigue in ADT patients.
Methods: Prostate cancer patients treated with ADT (ADT+ group, n = 60) completed assessments of fatigue prior to or just after ADT initiation (baseline) and 6 and 12 months later. Prostate cancer patients treated with prostatectomy only (ADT- group, n = 85) and men without cancer (CA- group, n = 86) matched on age and education completed assessments at similar intervals.
Results: Group-by-time interactions for fatigue severity, interference, and duration were observed when comparing the ADT+ group to the controls. Groups did not differ at baseline; however, the ADT+ group reported worse fatigue at 6 and 12 months. The same pattern was observed for changes in the prevalence of clinically meaningful fatigue and the extent of clinically meaningful change in fatigue. Within the ADT+ group, higher baseline comorbidity scores were associated with greater increases in fatigue interference, and higher baseline Gleason scores were associated with greater increases in fatigue duration.
Conclusions: Prostate cancer patients receiving ADT demonstrate a trajectory of worsened fatigue during the first 12 months following treatment initiation relative to the controls. Greater comorbidities and higher Gleason scores at baseline appear to be risk factors for heightened fatigue during the first year following ADT initiation. Results highlight important time points for implementation of interventions aimed at fatigue reduction.
Keywords: Androgen deprivation therapy; Fatigue; Prostatic neoplasms; Quality of life.