Background: Long-term survivors of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) must cope with treatment complications and late toxicities that affect their health-related quality of life. Little is known about the risk-to-benefit ratio of new agents like rituximab. The impact of treatment regimens and health disorders on long-term fatigue levels was investigated in a cross-sectional study.
Methods: Two self-administered questionnaires, the 20-item Multidimensional Fatigue Inventory (MFI-20) and a Life Situation Questionnaire, were mailed in 2015 to NHL survivors enrolled onto 12 successive clinical studies (1993-2010) conducted by the Lymphoma Study Association. Private addresses were obtained for 3317 survivors, of whom 1671 (50%) returned the questionnaires. Severe fatigue was defined as MFI-20 scores ≥60 on dimension scales scored from 0 to 100. Linear regression models were used to assess factors that were linked to increased fatigue levels.
Results: The study population included 906 men and 765 women, and the median age was 64 years (age range, 24-95 years). Overall, 811 survivors had received cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, prednisone (CHOP)-like chemotherapy, 518 had received high-dose CHOP, and 342 had undergone upfront autologous stem cell transplantation; 829 survivors also had received rituximab. In total, 1100 survivors (66%) reported 1 or more late health disorders. Severe fatigue was reported by 602 survivors (37%). Increased fatigue levels were associated (P < .001) with increased age, obesity, and the presence of health disorders, but not with initial treatment or rituximab.
Conclusions: The survey confirms that high proportions long-term NHL survivors have severe fatigue. The results suggest that initial treatment and the receipt of rituximab have no influence on the development of long-term fatigue.
Keywords: cross-sectional study; long-term fatigue; long-term survivors; non-Hodgkin lymphomas; risk factors.
© 2019 American Cancer Society.