(Pre)treatment risk factors for late fatigue and fatigue trajectories following radiotherapy for breast cancer

the REQUITE Consortium

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3 Scopus citations


Fatigue is common in breast-cancer survivors. Our study assessed fatigue longitudinally in breast cancer patients receiving adjuvant radiotherapy (RT) and aimed to identify risk factors associated with long-term fatigue and underlying fatigue trajectories. Fatigue was measured in a prospective multicenter cohort (REQUITE) using the Multidimensional Fatigue Inventory (MFI-20) and analyzed using mixed models. Multivariable logistic models identified factors associated with fatigue dimensions at 2 years post-RT and latent class growth analysis identified individual fatigue trajectories. A total of 1443, 1302, 1203 and 1098 patients completed the MFI-20 at baseline, end of RT, after 1 and 2 years. Overall, levels of fatigue significantly increased from baseline to end of RT for all fatigue dimensions (P <.05) and returned to baseline levels after 2 years. A quarter of patients were assigned to latent trajectory high (23.7%) and moderate (24.8%) fatigue classes, while 46.3% and 5.2% to the low and decreasing fatigue classes, respectively. Factors associated with multiple fatigue dimensions at 2 years include age, BMI, global health status, insomnia, pain, dyspnea and depression. Fatigue present at baseline was consistently associated with all five MFI-20 fatigue dimensions (ORGeneralFatigue = 3.81, P <.001). From latent trajectory analysis, patients with a combination of factors such as pain, insomnia, depression, younger age and endocrine therapy had a particularly high risk of developing early and persistent high fatigue years after treatment. Our results confirmed the multidimensional nature of fatigue and will help clinicians identify breast cancer patients at higher risk of having persistent/late fatigue so that tailored interventions can be delivered.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Cancer
StateAccepted/In press - 2023


  • breast cancer
  • determinants
  • fatigue
  • longitudinal trajectories
  • radiotherapy


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