Background: Fatigue is a common and disabling side effect of targeted therapies such as tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) used to treat chronic myeloid leukemia (CML). The goal of the current study was to conduct a pilot randomized trial of the first cognitive behavioral intervention developed for fatigue due to targeted therapy.
Methods: Patients with CML treated with a TKI who were reporting moderate to severe fatigue were recruited and randomized 2:1 to cognitive behavioral therapy for targeted therapy-related fatigue (CBT-TTF) delivered via FaceTime for the iPad or to a waitlist control (WLC) group. The outcomes were acceptability, feasibility, and preliminary efficacy for fatigue (Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness Therapy-Fatigue; primary outcome) and quality of life (Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-General; secondary outcome). Participants were assessed before randomization and after treatment (ie, approximately 18 weeks later).
Results: A total of 44 patients (mean age, 55 years; 48% female) were assigned to CBT-TTF (n = 29) or WLC (n = 15). The study participation rate was 59%. Among the patients assigned to CBT-TTF, 79% completed the intervention. Intent-to-treat analyses indicated that patients assigned to CBT-TTF demonstrated greater improvements in fatigue (d = 1.06; P < .001) and overall quality of life (d = 1.15; P = .005) than those assigned to WLC. More patients randomized to CBT-TTF than WLC demonstrated clinically significant improvements in fatigue (85% vs 29%) and quality of life (88% vs 54%; P values ≤ .016).
Conclusions: CBT-TTF displays preliminary efficacy in improving fatigue and quality of life among fatigued patients with CML treated with TKIs. The findings suggest that a larger randomized study is warranted.
Keywords: chronic myeloid leukemia; cognitive behavioral therapy; fatigue; quality of life; randomized controlled trial.
© 2019 American Cancer Society.