Depressive symptoms and cytokine levels in Serum and Tumor Tissue in patients with an Astrocytoma: A pilot study

Angela R. Starkweather, Paula Sherwood, Debra E. Lyon, Dana H. Bovbjerg, William C. Broaddus, R. K. Elswick, Jamie Sturgill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Background: Preoperative depressive symptoms are associated with poor outcomes in patients with an astrocytoma. Cytokines are associated with depressive symptoms in the general population and are important mediators of tumor growth and progression.The aims of this study were to: (1) characterize depressive symptoms, other treatment-related symptoms and biological mediators; and (2) determine whether preoperative depressive symptoms were associated with the selected biological mediators. Methods. A prospective, exploratory study was carried out among 22 patients with a high-grade astrocytoma. Self-report questionnaires and peripheral blood samples were collected on the day of surgery. Tumor tissue was collected intraoperatively. Self-report questionnaires were assessed at 3, 6, 9, and 12-months postoperatively. Results: In circulation, serum IL-8 was inversely correlated with depressive symptoms while IL-17 measured in tumor tissue supernatant was inversely correlated with depressive symptoms. Depressive symptoms showed a significant increase at 12 months from baseline levels and were positively associated with treatment-related symptoms at 3 months and symptom distress at 12 months post-surgery. Conclusions: In this pilot study, depressive symptoms were negatively associated with IL-8 in serum and IL-17 in tumor tissue. The changes among depressive symptoms, treatment-related symptoms and symptom distress highlight the need for multi-faceted symptom management strategies over the treatment trajectory in this patient population.

Original languageEnglish
Article number423
JournalBMC Research Notes
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 4 2014

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We would like to thank the American Nurses Foundation and Oncology Nurses Foundation/American Brain Tumor Foundation (Starkweather, PI) for supporting the collection, processing and analysis of the biological samples. The following authors are currently receiving research funding from the National Institutes of Health: ARS (R01 NR013932; #P30 NR011403; Grap, PI); PS (R01 CA118711, R01 NR004339, R01 NR011044, R01 NR0131170); DEL (R01 NR012667); DHB (R01 CA129557, R01 CA131148, R21 CA165146, P30 CA047904); RKE (#P30 NR011403; Grap, PI).

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology (all)


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