Commonalities in the Features of Cancer and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS): Evidence for Stress-Induced Phenotype Instability? (Rusin et al, 2022)


Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (CFS/ME) and Cancer-Related Fatigue (CRF) are syndromes with considerable overlap with respect to symptoms. There have been many studies that have compared the two conditions, and some of this research suggests that the etiologies of the conditions are linked in some cases. In this narrative review, CFS/ME and cancer are introduced, along with their known and putative mechanistic connections to multiple stressors including ionizing radiation. Next, we summarize findings from the literature that suggest the involvement of HPA-axis dysfunction, the serotonergic system, cytokines and inflammation, metabolic insufficiency and mitochondrial dysfunction, and genetic changes in CRF and CFS/ME. We further suspect that the manifestation of fatigue in both diseases and its causes could indicate that CRF and CFS/ME lie on a continuum of potential biological effects which occur in response to stress. The response to this stress likely varies depending on predisposing factors such as genetic background. Finally, future research ideas are suggested with a focus on determining if common biomarkers exist in CFS/ME patients and those afflicted with CRF. Both CFS/ME and CRF are relatively heterogenous syndromes, however, it is our hope that this review assists in future research attempting to elucidate the commonalities between CRF and CFS/ME.

The study:

Rufous McKinney

Senior Member
I wonder about why some cancer victims don't seem to have any fatigue or major cognitive issues. (maybe they did during some moments when treatments were intense, but not on a day to day basis).