Fatigue is a ubiquitous and an extremely distressing symptom among patients with brain tumors (BT), particularly those with high-grade gliomas. The pathophysiology of cancer-related fatigue (CRF) in the context of patients with BT is multifactorial and complex, involving biological, behavioral, medical and social factors. The etiology of CRF in the general oncology population is pointing to the role of inflammatory cytokines as a key factor in the genesis of CRF, but this research is currently limited in the setting of BT. CRF should be screened, assessed and managed according to clinical practice guidelines. Fatigue has recently emerged as a strong, independent prognostic factor for survival that provides incremental prognostic value to the traditional markers of prognosis in recurrent high-grade gliomas. Therefore, strategies to treat fatigue warrant investigation, not only to improve the QOL of a group of patients with often limited life expectancy, but also possibly to optimize survival.
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