In an early-phase clinical trial, almost two-thirds of patients with advanced cancer reported poor sleep quality, which was linked to greater fatigue and symptom burden.

“Sleep quality is often overlooked in advanced cancer patients, compared to other symptoms such as fatigue or pain,” said Goldy C. George, PhD, an instructor in the department of symptom research at MD Anderson Cancer Center, in an interview with Cancer Therapy Advisor.

Dr George was part of a team that evaluated 256 patients with locally advanced or metastatic disease for sleep quality. About half of the patients (46%) were enrolled in a phase 1 trial. The remaining 54% were either considering participating in an early-phase clinical trial, investigating further therapeutic options, or receiving off-protocol therapy.

The index assesses 19 items grouped into 7 components, including sleep duration at night, habitual sleep efficiency, and sleep disturbance; patients who scored greater than 5 on the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index were considered poor sleepers. “Poor sleepers” made up 64% of the evaluated patients.

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