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The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center is Hosting a Multidisciplinary Conference Focused on Cancer-related Fatigue

The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center is Hosting a Multidisciplinary Conference Focused on Cancer-related Fatigue
March 24-25, 2001

M. D. Anderson News Release 03/21/01

Top cancer specialists nationwide will gather this weekend to discuss cancer-related fatigue research and treatment.

In recognition of this real -- but treatable -- side effect, The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center is hosting a multidisciplinary conference focused on cancer-related fatigue. This year’s conference will highlight practical, behavior-oriented interventions and, for the first time, address fatigue in children with cancer.

Experts explain that the fatigue experienced by a person with cancer is different from the tiredness of everyday life. Cancer fatigue limits one's ability to work, attend school or perform daily activities and can take a mental toll, causing forgetfulness and depression.

According to physicians at M. D. Anderson, approximately three out of four cancer patients experience fatigue, yet few seek or receive treatment for it, a lapse cancer specialists are trying to remedy.

“Twenty years ago researchers began looking at pain, how to measure it and treat it. We are now at that point with fatigue. We need to develop effective treatment strategies,” said Dr. Charles Cleeland, conference director and director of M. D. Anderson’s Pain Research Group.
"These conferences give us the opportunity to combine basic biological and clinical science in order to develop solutions for this devastating problem for cancer patients," continued Cleeland.

In 1999, Dr. Cleeland established an institution-wide, multidisciplinary workgroup to develop research in the area of cancer-related fatigue. With representation from oncology, rehabilitation,
physical medicine, neuropsychology and basic science, the workgroup has under way protocols
examining the effects of exercise and stimulants and the treatment of anemia on fatigue.
M. D. Anderson also began a fatigue clinic in 1999 as a pilot project.

Today, under the medical direction of Dr. Carmen Escalante, the clinic provides diagnostic services and treatment options for cancer patients suffering from fatigue.

The fatigue conference convenes at 8 a.m. Saturday, March 24, Hickey Auditorium,
M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, 1515 Holcombe Blvd., with welcoming remarks by Martin Raber, M.D., senior vice president for strategic and business planning at M. D. Anderson and a cancer survivor.

Sessions scheduled for the first day will focus on basic science, management and intervention and treatment-related fatigue. Highlights of the two-day conference are listed below.

Saturday, March 24

  • At 9 a.m., Dr. Lillian Nail will discuss "Knowing What to Ask and When to Ask It: Bridging the Gap between the Patient and the Researcher."
  • "Communication Between the Brain and the Immune System" will be presented at 11 a.m. by Dr. Steven Maier.
  • Dr. Theresa Gillis will moderate a discussion at 2 p.m. on "Non-Pharmocological Interventions for Fatigue."

Sunday, March 25

  • At 9:45 a.m., Dr. Steven Passik will present "Behavioral Interventions for Fatigue."
  • In a session at 10:30 a.m., Dr. William Breitbart will present "Fatigue in Cancer and AIDS," and Dr. Marilyn Hockenberry-Eaton will discuss "Fatigue in Children with Cancer."

Physicians, researchers, nurses and allied health professionals are invited to attend.

Individuals interested in attending the conference should call M. D. Anderson’s Conference Services Department at (713) 792-2222. A copy of the conference brochure may be found on the Internet at

© 2015 The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center