Print Email

About Study Groups  |  Study Groups  |  Workshops  |  Surveys  |  Resources

MASCC Fatigue Study Group


Chair: Karen Mustian, PhD (  - USA
Vice-Chair: Stephen R Samuel, MPT ( - India
Vice-Chair: Debra Barton RN, PhD, AOCN, FAAN ( - USA

Study Group Minutes
2016 Minutesalt - Annual Meeting - Adelaide, Australia


The primary purpose of the Fatigue Study Group is research. The group’s goal is to conduct multidisciplinary pilot studies, initially at 1 to 3 institutions. Studies might address any of the following: (1) basic science on fatigue mechanisms, using animal models or laboratory settings; (2) translational studies, not only of basic science findings, but also of evidence-based guidelines; (3) aspects of fatigue in relation to the healthcare spectrum, including prevention, screening, detection, treatment, rehabilitation, survivorship, late effects, and palliative or end-of-life care; (4) collaborative work, focusing on fatigue, with other MASCC study groups.

A secondary purpose of the Fatigue Study Group is education. The group serves as a resource for MASCC and its members on cancer-related fatigue. This might involve identifying speakers and topics for scientific and plenary sessions at MASCC meetings, submitting publications to Supportive Care in Cancer, and providing information for the MASCC website on fatigue presentations, posters, resources, and Fatigue Study Group activities.

2016 Trainee and Early Investigator Awards

Each year, the Fatigue Study Group selects two outstanding young investigators from among fatigue-related research abstracts submitted to the meeting. The 2016 awards were presented at the MASCC/ISOO Annual Meeting in Adelaide, Australia in June.

Junior Investigator Award
Kord Kober, PhD, received the Fatigue Study Group’s Junior Investigator Award for his work titled, “Gene Expression Profiling of Inflammation and Immune Response Pathways in Oncology Patients Undergoing Chemotherapy with Distinct Evening Fatigue Trajectories.” Kord is an Associate Professor in the School of Nursing at the University of California San Francisco.

New Investigator Award
Yun-Jen Chou, RN, MSN, received the New Investigator Award for her research titled “Fatigue Management and Its Effectiveness Reported by Cancer Patients: A National Survey.” Yun-Jen is at the School of Nursing, National Taiwan University, Taipei City, Taiwan.

Research Highlights

Cancer-Related Fatigue and Supportive Care 
Many patients with cancer are not prepared for the degree of fatigue they might experience as a result of their disease or its treatment. Many are not educated in management strategies to cope with fatigue, even though a number of interventions have been found helpful. Recently, Teresa Young and colleagues at the Mount Vernon Cancer Centre, Northwood, Middlesex, UK, reported the results of patient experience surveys on cancer-related fatigue. They found that many patients were not being given advice to manage their cancer-related fatigue — partly due to a lack of healthcare providers’ awareness of its occurrence and extent and of their failure to provide patients with management advice. >> Read More

A Call for Collaboration
MASCC members Ann Berger, Fiona Cramp, and Sandra Mitchell, along with colleagues at the Division of Population Health Sciences and Education, St. George’s University of London have recently published an analysis of the contrasting European and American perspectives on cancer-related fatigue and its impact on functioning on cancer survivors. They point to a lack of understanding of the causes, definition, and measurement of cancer-related fatigue and call for models to guide the study of this common effect of cancer and its treatment. The authors suggest a need for an international consensus on the defining features of fatigue in cancer survivors as well as more standardized interventions and measurement of outcomes. A coordination of efforts would increase understanding of the biological, psychological, and social mechanisms that underlie cancer-related fatigue, leading to improved research and clinical guidelines. For more information, see Minton D, Berger A, Barsevick A, Cramp F, et al. Cancer-related fatigue and its impact on functioning. Cancer 2013 Jan 1;119 Suppl  11:2124-30.

Other Recent Research
Other recent research by members of the Study Group focuses on the effects of yoga and exercise generally on cancer-related fatigue, the side-effect burden of fatigue in older cancer survivors, recommendations for high-priority research on cancer-related fatigue in children and adults, and exercise recommendations for numerous cancer-related adverse effects including cancer-related fatigue.

2017 Workshop

2017 Annual Meeting Workshop, June 22, Washington, DC
Circadian Rhythms and Chronobiology in Cancer: Relationship to Cancer-related Fatigue and Other Toxicities
One of the most difficult challenges faced by both clinicians and researchers is that of understanding the mechanisms involved in the etiology of toxicities related to cancer and its treatment. A primary example of such a toxicity is fatigue. However, the task is particularly challenging when severe toxicities coexist and treatment options are not well defined. The goal of this workshop is to educate clinicians and researchers about potential mechanisms of toxicity, especially those that can give rise to multiple adverse events. Circadian phenomena have strong and direct implications for fatigue, sleep problems, delirium, pain, and other toxicities. A better understanding of the relationships involved will help clinicians choose treatments and will help researchers develop new and maximally effective therapies.

This workshop will be offered jointly by the following MASCC Study Groups: Fatigue; Palliative Care; Rehabilitation, Survivorship, and Quality of Life.
Workshop Chairs: Oxana Palesh and Diwakar Balachandran

Past Workshops

Recent Publications

Kober KM, Smoot B, Paul SM, Cooper BA, Levine JD, Miaskowski C. Polymorphisms in Cytokine Genes Are Associated With Higher Levels of Fatigue and Lower Levels of Energy in Women After Breast Cancer Surgery. J Pain Symptom Manage. 2016 Nov;52(5):695-708.e4.

Eshragh J, Dhruva A, Paul SM, Cooper BA, Mastick J, Hamolsky D, Levine JD, Miaskowski C, Kober KM. Associations Between Neurotransmitter Genes and Fatigue and Energy Levels in Women After Breast Cancer Surgery. J Pain Symptom Manage. 2016 Oct 5. [Epub ahead of print]

Bischel LE, Ritchie C, Kober KM, Paul SM, Cooper BA, Chen LM, Levine JD, Hammer M, Wright F, Miaskowski C. Age differences in fatigue, decrements in energy, and sleep disturbance in oncology patients receiving chemotherapy. Eur J Oncol Nurs. 2016 Aug;23:115-23.

Kober KM, Dunn L, Mastick J, Cooper B, Langford D, Melisko M, Venook A, Chen LM, Wright F, Hammer M, Schmidt BL, Levine J, Miaskowski C, Aouizerat BE. Gene Expression Profiling of Evening Fatigue in Women Undergoing Chemotherapy for Breast Cancer. Biol Res Nurs. 2016 Jul;18(4):370-85.

Kober KM, Cooper BA, Paul SM, Dunn LB, Levine JD, Wright F, Hammer MJ, Mastick J, Venook A, Aouizerat BE, Miaskowski C. Subgroups of chemotherapy patients with distinct morning and evening fatigue trajectories. Support Care Cancer. 2016 Apr;24(4):1473-85.

Conley CC, Kamen CS, Heckler CE, Janelsins MC, Morrow GR, Peppone LJ, Scalzo AJ, Gross H, Dakhil S, Mustian KM, Palesh OG. Modafinil Moderates the Relationship Between Cancer-Related Fatigue and Depression in 541 Patients Receiving Chemotherapy. J Clin Psychopharmacol. 2016 Feb;36(1):82-5.

Wright F, D'Eramo Melkus G, Hammer M, Schmidt BL, Knobf MT, Paul SM, Cartwright F, Mastick J, Cooper BA, Chen LM, Melisko M, Levine JD, Kober K, Aouizerat BE, Miaskowski C. Trajectories of Evening Fatigue in Oncology Outpatients Receiving Chemotherapy. J Pain Symptom Manage. 2015 Aug;50(2):163-75.

Saligan LN, Olson K, Filler K, Larkin D, Cramp F, Sriram Y, Escalante CP, Del Giglio A, Kober KM, Kamath J, Palesh O, Mustian K; Multinational Association of Supportive Care in Cancer Fatigue Study Group–Biomarker Working Group. The biology of cancer-related fatigue: a review of the literature.Support Care Cancer. 2015 Aug;23(8):2461-78. Epub 2015 May 15.

Jones JM, Olson K, Catton P, Catton CN, Fleshner NE, Krzyzanowska MK, McCready DR, Wong RK, Jiang H, Howell D. Cancer-related fatigue and associated disability in post-treatment cancer survivors. J Cancer Surviv. 2015 Apr 16. [Epub ahead of print]

Sprod LK, Fernandez ID, Janelsins MC, Peppone LJ, Atkins JN, Giguere J, Block R, Mustian KM. Effects of yoga on cancer-related fatigue and global side-effect burden in older cancer survivors. J Geriatr Oncol. 2015 Jan;6(1):8-14.

Mustian KM, Janelsins M, Peppone LJ, Kamen C. Yoga for the treatment of insomnia among cancer patients — evidence, mechanisms of action, and clinical recommendations. Oncol Hematol Rev, 2014;10(2):164–8.

James S, Wright P, Scarlett C, Young T, Jamal H, Verma R. Cancer-related fatigue: results from patient experience surveys undertaken in a UK regional cancer centre. Support Care Cancer. 2014 Dec 23. [Epub ahead of print]

Please contact the Study Group Chairs above with your questions.
MASCC Study Group Coordinator, Don Gubitosa