Associations between cytokine gene variations and self-reported sleep disturbance in women following breast cancer surgery

Emely Alfaro, Anand Dhruva, Dale J. Langford, Theresa Koetters, John D. Merriman, Claudia West, Laura B. Dunn, Steven M. Paul, Bruce Cooper, Janine Cataldo, Deborah Hamolsky, Charles Elboim, Kord Kober, Bradley E. Aouizerat, Christine Miaskowski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose of the research: To attempt to replicate the associations found in our previous study of patients and family caregivers between interleukin 6 (IL6) and nuclear factor kappa beta 2 (NFKB2) and sleep disturbance and to identify additional genetic associations in a larger sample of patients with breast cancer. Methods and sample: Patients with breast cancer (n=398) were recruited prior to surgery and followed for six months. Patients completed a self-report measure of sleep disturbance and provided a blood sample for genomic analyses. Growth mixture modeling was used to identify distinct latent classes of patients with higher and lower levels of sleep disturbance. Key results: Patients who were younger and who had higher comorbidity and lower functional status were more likely to be in the high sustained sleep disturbance class. Variations in three cytokine genes (i.e., IL1 receptor 2 (IL1R2), IL13, NFKB2) predicted latent class membership. Conclusions: Polymorphisms in cytokine genes may partially explain inter-individual variability in sleep disturbance. Determination of high risk phenotypes and associated molecular markers may allow for earlier identification of patients at higher risk for developing sleep disturbance and lead to the development of more targeted clinical interventions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)85-93
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Journal of Oncology Nursing
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2014


  • Breast cancer
  • Cytokine genes
  • Growth mixture modeling
  • Insomnia
  • Sleep disturbance
  • Symptom trajectories

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology(nursing)


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