Effects of web-based cognitive behavioral stress management and health promotion interventions on neuroendocrine and inflammatory markers in men with advanced prostate cancer: A randomized controlled trial

Frank J. Penedo*, Rina S. Fox, Emily A. Walsh, Betina Yanez, Gregory E. Miller, Laura B. Oswald, Ryne Estabrook, Robert T. Chatterton, David C. Mohr, Mark J. Begale, Sarah C. Flury, Kent Perry, Shilajit D. Kundu, Patricia I. Moreno

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Cognitive behavioral stress management (CBSM) improves quality of life and mitigates stress biology in patients with early-stage cancer, including men with localized prostate cancer. However, treatments for advanced prostate cancer like androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) can lead to significant symptom burden that may be further exacerbated by stress-induced inflammation and cortisol dysregulation. The aim of this study was to examine the effects of CBSM (versus an active health promotion control) on circulating inflammatory markers and cortisol in men with advanced prostate cancer. Methods: Men with stage III or IV prostate cancer (N = 192) who had undergone ADT within the last year were randomized to CBSM or health promotion. Both interventions were 10 weeks, group-based, and delivered online. Venous blood was drawn at baseline, 6 months, and 12 months to measure circulating levels of CRP, IL-6, IL-8, IL-10, and TNF-α. Saliva samples were collected at awakening, 30 min after awakening, evening, and night for two consecutive days at baseline, 6-months, and 12-months to measure diurnal cortisol slopes. Results: Mixed modeling analyses demonstrated that changes in inflammatory markers and cortisol did not differ by intervention. Men in both CBSM and health promotion showed decreases in IL-10, IL-8, and TNF-α from baseline to 6 months (β = −3.85–−5.04, p's = 0.004–<0.001). However, these markers generally demonstrated a rebound increase from 6 to 12 months (β = 1.91–4.06, p's = 0.06–<0.001). Men in health promotion also demonstrated a flatter diurnal cortisol slope versus men in CBSM at 6 months (β = −2.27, p = .023), but not at 12 months. There were no intervention effects on CRP, IL-6, or overall cortisol output. Conclusions: Contrary to hypotheses, CBSM did not lead to changes in the circulating inflammatory markers and cortisol relative to health promotion. CBSM may be associated with healthy diurnal cortisol rhythm because of its focus on cognitive behavioral approaches to stress management. More research is needed to understand the impact of CBSM and health promotion on biomarkers among men with advanced prostate cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)168-177
Number of pages10
JournalBrain, Behavior, and Immunity
Volume95
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2021

Keywords

  • Advanced cancer
  • Cognitive behavioral stress management
  • Cortisol
  • Inflammation
  • Metastatic
  • Prostate cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
  • Behavioral Neuroscience

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