Integrative Therapies for Cancer-Related Fatigue

Cancer J. 2019 Sep/Oct;25(5):349-356. doi: 10.1097/PPO.0000000000000396.


Cancer-related fatigue (CRF) is a common symptom for which cancer patients often use integrative and integrative therapies; however, evidence supporting these therapies is limited. The aim of this review is to provide evidence-based recommendations for integrative interventions during and after cancer treatment for CRF. These recommendations are based on a systematic literature review from 1990 through 2019. Cognitive behavior therapy plus hypnosis and American ginseng can be considered during active treatment, and acupressure, mindfulness-based cognitive therapy, and qigong/tai chi easy can be considered during posttreatment. Coenzyme Q10 and L-carnitine are not recommended during active-treatment. All other integrative therapies for CRF had insufficient evidence to make a recommendation. While there is increasing evidence for integrative therapies for CRF, because of lack of rigorous trials and replication, no therapies could be definitively recommended. Further rigorously designed integrative therapy research is needed and should consider implementation and dissemination.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Complementary Therapies* / methods
  • Disease Management
  • Fatigue / etiology*
  • Fatigue / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Integrative Medicine* / methods
  • Neoplasms / complications*
  • Treatment Outcome