BACKGROUND:: Symptom distress often occurs in lung cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. However, a biomarker has not been identified to reflect the severity of their symptom distress. OBJECTIVE:: The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between symptom distress and serum inflammatory biomarkers in lung cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. METHODS:: A longitudinal, repeated-measures design was used to assess subjective symptoms (fatigue, sleep disturbance, pain, depression, and confusion), serum biomarkers (tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase 5a [TRACP5a], interleukin 6 [IL-6], IL-8, and C-reactive protein), and white blood cells in 62 lung cancer patients recruited from a single medical center at 3 time points: T1 was the baseline, T2 was the eighth day after the first chemotherapy cycle, and T3 was prior to the second cycle. Symptom distress was measured individually by 5 questionnaires (General Fatigue Scale, Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index, Brief Pain Inventory, Profile of Mood States–Depressive, and Confusion). RESULTS:: The trend of TRACP5a was positively correlated to the trend of the patients’ symptom distress. However, the trends of IL-6 and IL-8 did not correlate. CONCLUSIONS:: Serum TRACP5a was associated with symptom distress in lung cancer patients. Therefore, TRACP5a might be a potential biomarker to assess symptom distress of lung cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE:: Oncology nurses may be able to apply TRACP5a expression to predict or monitor multiple distress symptoms in lung cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. Furthermore, nurses can use these study findings to better understand the patients who need more attention to improve their quality of life.
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