Syndrome: The Common Link to Fatigue?
Journal: Anticancer Res. 2009 Nov;29(11):4717-26.
Meeus M, Mistiaen W, Lambrecht L, Nijs J.
Affiliation: Artesis Hogeschool Antwerpen (AHA), Department of Health
Sciences, Division of Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy, Van
Aertselaerstraat 31, 2170 Merksem, Belgium. firstname.lastname@example.org or
NLM Citation: PMID: 20032425
Cancer and chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) are both characterised by
fatigue and severe disability. Besides fatigue, certain aspects of
immune dysfunctions appear to be present in both illnesses. In this
regard, a literature review of overlapping immune dysfunctions in CFS
and cancer is provided. Special emphasis is given to the relationship
between immune dysfunctions and fatigue.
Abnormalities in ribonuclease (RNase) L and hyperactivation of
nuclear factor kappa beta (NF-kappaB) are present in CFS and in
prostate cancer. Malfunctioning of natural killer (NK) cells has long
been recognised as an important factor in the development and
reoccurrence of cancer, and has been documented repeatedly in CFS
patients. The dysregulation of the RNase L pathway, hyperactive
NF-kappaB leading to disturbed apoptotic mechanisms and oxidative
stress or excessive nitric oxide, and low NK activity may play a role
in the two diseases and in the physiopathology of the common symptom fatigue.
However, in cancer the relation between the immune dysfunctions and
fatigue has been poorly studied. Immunological abnormalities to such
as a dysregulated RNase L pathway, hyperactive NF-kappaB, increased
oxidative stress and reduced NK cytotoxicity, among others, are
present in both diseases. These anomalies may be part of the
physiopathology of some of the common complaints, such as fatigue.
Further studies to confirm the hypotheses given here are warranted.