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Title page for ETD etd-07132015-111022

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Schultze, Benjamin Stuart
Author's Email Address benjamin.schultze@gmail.com
URN etd-07132015-111022
Title Inflammatory cytokines, cachexia and symptoms in patients with head and neck cancer
Degree PhD
Department Nursing Science
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Sheila Ridner Committee Chair
Barbara Murphy Committee Member
Jie Deng Committee Member
Maciej Buchowski Committee Member
Mary Dietrich Committee Member
  • cancer
  • cachexia
  • cytokines
  • inflammation
  • weight loss
  • head an neck
Date of Defense 2015-07-08
Availability unrestricted
The precise cause of cancer cachexia is unknown. It is a syndrome associated with weight loss, lipolysis, muscle wasting, anorexia, chronic nausea and asthenia. Patients with head and neck cancer (HNC) are particularly vulnerable to developing cachexia. A current accepted hypothesis is that the tumor produces cytokines, which affects metabolism, cellular respiration and neurological processes leading to resultant cellular changes that promote muscle wasting and symptoms such as depression, anorexia, fatigue and pain. This dissertation focused on cytokines and their associations with red blood cells, albumin, weight loss, symptom development and musculoskeletal dysfunction in HNC patients over 12-months. Higher baseline levels of IL-6 was associated with greater weight loss. Increasing IL-10 from baseline and decreasing TGF-1β and IFN-γ levels from baseline were associated with weight loss. Several cytokines correlated with worsening symptom development over the study period. Worsening neck functionality was associated with several increasing cytokines over 6-months.
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