Preoperative inflammatory biomarkers and neurovegetative symptoms in peritoneal carcinomatosis patients

Carissa A. Low, Dana H. Bovbjerg, Frank J. Jenkins, Steven A. Ahrendt, Haroon A. Choudry, Matthew P. Holtzman, Heather L. Jones, James F. Pingpank, Lekshmi Ramalingam, Herbert J. Zeh, Amer H. Zureikat, David L. Bartlett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Background: Inflammation plays a central role in peritoneal carcinomatosis (PC) etiology and progression, and circulating levels of inflammatory biomarkers prior to surgery predict progression-free and overall survival in PC patients. Depression and fatigue are prevalent among PC patients, and experimental research shows that these symptoms may be mediated by proinflammatory cytokines. As yet unstudied is the possibility that the heightened levels of inflammatory markers in PC patients may contribute to their experience of common neurovegetative symptoms. Methods: Validated self-report measures of fatigue, depressive symptoms, and quality of life were administered to 64 patients scheduled to undergo aggressive surgical treatment for PC. Serum samples were collected the morning of surgery, and ELISAs were conducted to quantify circulating IL-6, CRP, and TNF-α levels. Results: Consistent with hypotheses, higher IL-6 levels were associated with more severe fatigue (. β=. -.39, p<. .01) and neurovegetative symptoms of depression (. β=. .30, p<. .05). IL-6 was also related to poorer physical quality of life (. β=. -.28, p<. .05). CRP showed similar significant relationships with fatigue and physical quality of life. Inflammatory biomarkers were not significantly related to emotional symptoms of depression or to emotional or social functioning aspects of quality of life, and TNF-α levels were not related to patient-reported measures. Conclusion: Preoperative inflammatory activity may contribute to patients' experiences of fatigue and neurovegetative depressive symptoms as well as impaired quality of life. These biological mechanisms warrant consideration in the clinical management of neurovegetative symptoms in PC patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)65-68
Number of pages4
JournalBrain, Behavior, and Immunity
StatePublished - Nov 1 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Cancer
  • Cytokines
  • Depression
  • Fatigue
  • Inflammation
  • Neurovegetative symptoms
  • Peritoneal carcinomatosis
  • Quality of life
  • Sickness behavior

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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