Epigenetic Markers of Age and Diurnal Levels of Fatigue during Chemotherapy

Investigator: Kathryn A. Lee, RN, PhD, FAAN

Location(s): United States


Fatigue is one of the most common and severe symptoms reported in oncology patients, particularly in women with breast cancer. Fatigued cancer survivors display physiological functioning similar to individuals two- decades older. Recent evidence suggests that DNA methylation, an epigenetic marker that captures aggregate responses to genetic and environmental exposures, is a novel and accurate biomarker that can be used to examine the biological adaptations to aging. Building on our recently collected in-depth phenotypic (i.e., morning fatigue, evening fatigue, clinical, treatment, demographic) and molecular (i.e., DNA methylation) data, the aims proposed in this R21 application provide a unique opportunity to identify novel associations among DNA methylation profiles for aging and diurnal variations (i.e., morning and evening) fatigue in women with breast cancer. This line of inquiry will address important gaps in our understanding of the biological mechanisms that underlie the inter-relationships among morning and evening fatigue and aging.