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Are Symptoms of Anxiety and Depression Common in TKI-Treated Patients With CML?

By: Joseph Fanelli
Posted: Thursday, December 17, 2020

According to findings presented in Leukemia & Lymphoma, anxiety and depression are common symptoms for patients with chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) receiving tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) therapy. Qian Jiang, MD, of the Peking University Institute of Hematology, Beijing, and colleagues noted that female patients, those with lower education levels, and individuals with higher comorbidity burdens may be more likely to experience severe anxiety and depression symptoms as well.

“Our study suggests that we should pay more attention to early assessment, recognition, and proper management for those at high risk for anxiety and depression symptoms in CML patients during TKI therapy,” the authors concluded.

In this study, the authors recruited 1,169 patients from the Peking University People’s Hospital. Patients had CML and no family history of anxiety, depression, or other psychiatric disorders. The patients were evaluated for anxiety and depression symptoms before starting TKI therapy and again at 6 and 12 months into treatment. In addition, patients who had received TKI therapy for 3 months at the first evaluation of anxiety and depression were included for a cross-sectional cohort.

The authors found that 251 patients (22.4%) reported anxiety, with mild symptoms in 208 (18.6%), moderate symptoms in 37 (3.3%), and severe symptoms in 6 (0.5%). A total of 415 patients (37.1%) experienced some form of depression, with mild symptoms in 267 (23.8%), moderate symptoms in 134 (12.0%), and severe symptoms in 14 (1.3%).

Additionally, for the 49 patients included in a longitudinal cohort, compared with at baseline, “significantly” higher Self-Rating Depression scores were reported at 6 months and 12 months of TKI therapy. However, the authors found no meaningful change among Self-Rating Anxiety scores for the same patients over time. Of note, more severe symptoms of depression were noted in patients who received second- or third-line TKI therapy, as well as in those who received TKI therapy for more than 1 year.

Disclosure: The authors reported no conflicts of interest.



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