Leorey N. Saligan, PhD, RN, CRNP, FAAN
Symptom Management Branch
Division of Intramural Research
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.
- Patient-Centered Assessment of Symptoms and Outcomes (IRB approved: 4/3/2019)
- Effect of Ketamine on Fatigue Following Cancer Therapy (15-NR-0037)
- Investigating Molecular-Genetic Correlates of Fatigue Experienced by Cancer Patients Receiving Treatment (11-NR-0014)
- Molecular-Genetic Correlates of Fatigue in Cancer Patients Receiving Localized External Beam Radiation Therapy (09-NR-0088)
- Evaluation and Diagnosis of Potential Research Subjects with Pain and Fatigue Syndromes (08-NR-0132)
- Serves as an officer within the United States Public Health Service
- Became an Assistant Clinical Investigator and Principal Investigator of several clinical protocols in 2009.
- Joined NINR in 2007 as a postdoctoral fellow within the Symptom Management Branch, where he became a Lead Associate Investigator of a clinical trial involving individuals with fibromyalgia
- Interviewed by Reuters on non-drug options to treat cancer-related fatigue
- Featured on Oncology Nursing Society’s podcast on the effects of aerobic exercise during cancer therapy
- Selected as a featured scientist for a LabTV segment: “Curious about fatigue related to cancer therapy”
- Selected as a featured nurse scientist for Johnson & Johnson Podcast: “What makes a good public health nurse?”
- Featured Scientist on NIH Director’s (Dr. Francis Collins) September 10th blog
- PhD, Hampton University, Hampton, Virginia
- MS, Hampton University, Hampton, Virginia
- BS in Nursing, Liceo de Cagayan University, Philippines
- BS in Medical Technology, Silliman University, Philippines
- Yu (Philip) Xu Mentoring Award, Asian American/Pacific Islander Nurses Association
- Exceptional Proficiency Promotion to Captain, Office of the Surgeon General, United States Public Health Service, Department of Health and Human Services
- Presidential Unit Citation, United States Public Health Service, Department of Health and Human Services
- Unit Commendation Medal, Office of the Surgeon General, United States Public Health Service, Department of Health and Human Services
- Early Career Investigator Award, Cancer Fatigue Group, Multinational Supportive Care in Cancer
- Exceptional Proficiency Promotion to Commander, Office of the Surgeon General, United States Public Health Service, Department of Health and Human Services
- National Institute of Nursing Research Director’s Leadership Award
- Commendation Medal for serving as Deputy Clinical Director of NINR, Office of the Surgeon General, United States Public Health Service, Department of Health and Human Services
- RADM Faye G. Abdellah Award for Nursing Research, United States Public Health Service, Department of Health and Human Services
- Hasselmeyer Award for Research Initiatives, Nursing Professional Advisory Council, Office of the Surgeon General, United States Public Health Service, Department of Health and Human Services
- Crisis Response Service Award, Haiti Earthquake Response Mission, Office of the Surgeon General, United States Public Health Service, Department of Health and Human Services
- Commendation Medal, Advancing Nursing Science through Research, Office of the Surgeon General, United States Public Health Service, Department of Health and Human Services
- National Institute of Nursing Research Director’s Team Player Award
- Co-Occurring Symptoms Contribute to Persistent Fatigue in Prostate Cancer. Feng LR, Fuss T, Dickinson K, Ross A, Saligan LN. Oncology. 2019;96(4):183-191. doi: 10.1159/000494620. Epub 2019 Jan 9. PMID: 30625479.
- Development of the PROMIS-based Research Assessment and Clinical Tool-Fatigue (ReACT-F). Dickinson KA, Kelly DL, Lai JS, Saligan LN. Support Care Cancer. 2019 Jan 11. doi: 10.1007/s00520-018-4614-2. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 30635711.
- Disentangling the association of depression on the anti-fatigue effects of ketamine. Saligan LN, Farmer C, Ballard ED, Kadriu B, Zarate CA Jr. J Affect Disord. 2019 Feb 1;244:42-45. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2018.10.089. Epub 2018 Oct 6. PMID: 30312839.
- Comparing passive measures of fatigue-like behavior in mice. Wolff BS, Raheem SA, Saligan LN. Sci Rep. 2018 Sep 24;8(1):14238. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-32654-1. PMID: 30250080.
- An assessment of the anti-fatigue effects of ketamine from a double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover study in bipolar disorder. Saligan LN, Luckenbaugh DA, Slonena EE, Machado-Vieira R, Zarate CA Jr. J Affect Disord. 2016 Apr;194:115-9. PMID: 26807672.
Biologic Correlates of Fatigue
- mGluR5 mediates post-radiotherapy fatigue development in cancer patients. Feng LR, Fernández-Martínez JL, Zaal KJM, deAndrés-Galiana EJ, Wolff BS, Saligan LN. Transl Psychiatry. 2018 May 30;8(1):110. doi: 10.1038/s41398-018-0161-3. PMID: 29849049
- Evaluating the Role of Mitochondrial Function in Cancer-related Fatigue. Feng LR, Nguyen Q, Ross A, Saligan LN. J Vis Exp. 2018 May 17;(135). doi: 10.3791/57736. PMID: 29863679
- Altered Cd8+ T lymphocyte Response Triggered by Arginase 1: Implication for Fatigue Intensification during Localized Radiation Therapy in Prostate Cancer Patients. Saligan LN, Lukkahatai N, Zhang ZJ, Cheung CW, Wang XM. Neuropsychiatry (London). 2018;8(4):1249-1262. doi: 10.4172/Neuropsychiatry.1000454. PMID: 30364895
- The role of TRAIL in fatigue induced by repeated stress from radiotherapy. Feng LR, Suy S, Collins SP, Saligan LN. J Psychiatr Res. 2017 Aug;91:130-138. doi: 10.1016/j.jpsychires.2017.03.012. Epub 2017 Mar 20. PMID: 28343068
- Sickness behavior induced by cisplatin chemotherapy and radiotherapy in a murine head and neck cancer model is associated with altered mitochondrial gene expression. Vichaya EG, Molkentine JM, Vermeer DW, Walker AK, Feng R, Holder G, Luu K, Mason RM, Saligan L, Heijnen CJ, Kavelaars A, Mason KA, Lee JH, Dantzer R. Behav Brain Res. 2016 Jan 15;297:241-50. doi: 10.1016/j.bbr.2015.10.024. Epub 2015 Oct 22. PMID: 26475509
For Dr. Saligan's full bibliography, please visit ORCIDor