Leorey N. Saligan, Ph.D., R.N., C.R.N.P., F.A.A.N.

Senior Investigator

Symptom Biology Unit


Building 3, Room 5E14
3 Center Drive
Bethesda, MD 20892



Research Topics

Topic: The nature and causes of fatigue in relation to cancer and its treatments

Issue: Fatigue is a common and debilitating condition that affects most cancer patients. To date, fatigue remains poorly characterized with no diagnostic test to objectively measure the severity of this condition. In addition, evidence has shown that cancer-related fatigue (CRF) may be a treatment-limiting symptom and often impairs health-related quality of life.

Impact: Dr. Saligan is introducing clinically relevant approaches to phenotype cancer-related fatigue (CRF) to drive biomarker discovery. The purpose is to understand and identify biobehavioral mechanisms of fatigue to develop more effective ways to manage it and, as a result, improve patient outcomes. Dr. Saligan is also leading studies to identify biomarkers of CRF and understand functional pathways to explain its cause. In addition, he is conducting proof-of-concept clinical trials that target the biochemical and physiologic effects of active markers identified in CRF studies to validate their clinical relevance. His research program is guided by the NIH Symptom Science Model.

Selected Publications

  1. Saligan LN, Luckenbaugh DA, Slonena EE, Machado-Vieira R, Zarate CA Jr. An assessment of the anti-fatigue effects of ketamine from a double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover study in bipolar disorder. J Affect Disord. 2016;194:115-9.
  2. Feng LR, Regan J, Shrader JA, Liwang J, Ross A, Kumar S, Saligan LN. Cognitive and motor aspects of cancer-related fatigue. Cancer Med. 2019.
  3. Saligan LN, Olson K, Filler K, Larkin D, Cramp F, Yennurajalingam S, Escalante CP, del Giglio A, Kober KM, Kamath J, Palesh O, Mustian K, Multinational Association of Supportive Care in Cancer Fatigue Study Group-Biomarker Working Group.. The biology of cancer-related fatigue: a review of the literature. Support Care Cancer. 2015;23(8):2461-78.
  4. Feng LR, Suy S, Collins SP, Saligan LN. The role of TRAIL in fatigue induced by repeated stress from radiotherapy. J Psychiatr Res. 2017;91:130-138.
  5. Feng LR, Fernández-Martínez JL, Zaal KJM, deAndrés-Galiana EJ, Wolff BS, Saligan LN. mGluR5 mediates post-radiotherapy fatigue development in cancer patients. Transl Psychiatry. 2018;8(1):110.

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This page was last updated on Tuesday, August 29, 2023