Sleep

SLEEP project

Sleep disturbances are highly prevalent among cancer patients, with nearly 60% of patients experiencing sleep problems.

Sleep disturbances have been linked to several biological markers (e.g. hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis and inflammatory dysregulation), psychological symptoms (e.g. depression and anxiety ), cancer-related symptoms (e.g.pain), as well as to cancer progression and survival. There is still much unknown about sleep problems in head and neck cancer patients

The overall aim of this project is to obtain more knowledge on sleep disturbances in newly diagnosed HNC patients. This project is based on the following rationales: 1) Knowledge about the prevalence of sleep disturbances among newly diagnosed HNC patients is limited, 2) Knowledge about determinants of sleep disturbances in newly diagnosed HNC patients is limited: who is at risk?, 3) Sleep disturbances are likely to be associated with other symptoms as fatigue, pain, depression, and anxiety, but insight into possible clusters in newly diagnosed HNC patients is limited, 4) Sleep disturbances are related to the central stress systems (inflammation and HPA axis function) but detailed information in HNC patients is limited, 5) Sleep disturbances among newly diagnosed HNC patients are associated with survival.

Relevance of this project
Clinical decision-making for many HNC patients is challenging. This project will contribute to a more precise knowledge on sleep disturbances and may add to developing predictive models in the future and improve decision-making for the management of sleep disturbances in newly diagnosed HNC patients. This study also provides new insight into the subgroups which are most at risk for having sleep disturbances and consequently help identify patients who might benefit from a sleep intervention in clinical practice.

Furthermore, more insight will be obtained into the association between sleep disturbances and survival, which subgroups of patients have the strongest association between sleep disturbances and survival, and whether this association is potentially mediated by fatigue, pain, depression, anxiety, and/or biological markers. Understanding how the bio-behavioral pathways interact with tumor progression may help to improve personalized cancer therapy in the future.

Duration 
2017-2020

Funding
Alpe d’HuZes foundation/Dutch Cancer Society

Staff
drs A.M.M. Santoso, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, FGB, Clinical Psychology
Prof dr I.M. Verdonck-de Leeuw, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, FGB, Clinical Psychology; Amsterdam UMC, location VUmc, Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery,
Prof dr A. van Straten, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, FGB, Clinical Psychology
Prof dr C.R. Leemans, Amsterdam UMC, location VUmc, Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery
Prof dr P. Cuijpers, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, FGB, Clinical Psychology
Prof dr B. Penninx, Amsterdam UMC, location VUmc, Psychiatry
Prof dr J. Prins, Radboudumc, Medical Psychology

Research coordinator
dr F. Jansen,  Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, FGB, Clinical Psychology; Amsterdam UMC, location VUmc, Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery

Questions?
For questions, please contact Prof. I.M. Verdonck – de Leeuw, via s.biemans@amsterdamumc.nl