The following article features coverage from the 2021 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting. Click here to read more of Cancer Therapy Advisor‘s conference coverage.

In a prospective study, mobile wearable devices showed no significant gains or losses in overall sleep trends over time among patients receiving treatment for multiple myeloma (MM).

However, younger patients did experience a significant decrease in sleep on days they received dexamethasone.

These findings were presented at the 2021 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASC0) Annual Meeting by Gil Hevroni, MD, of SUNY Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn, New York. 

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Dr Hevroni noted that electronic patient-reported outcome (ePRO) questionnaires have been useful to measure health-related quality of life, but they can be subjective and cumbersome to analyze. In contrast, mobile wearable devices like Fitbits can track activities and provide objective data.  

Dr Hevroni and colleagues remotely monitored sleep patterns using wearable devices in patients with MM undergoing therapy. The researchers compared the device results with results from ePRO questionnaires. 

The study enrolled 40 patients (21 men and 19 women) who were newly diagnosed with MM. Cohort A included 20 patients who were younger than 65 years, and cohort B included 20 patients age 65 and older.

Patients’ sleep was monitored for 1 to 7 days at baseline and continuously for up to 6 treatment cycles. The patients also completed ePRO surveys at baseline and after each treatment cycle.

Treatment regimens included:

  • Carfilzomib, lenalidomide, and dexamethasone (n = 14)
  • Bortezomib, lenalidomide, and dexamethasone (n = 12)
  • Daratumumab, carfilzomib, lenalidomide, and dexamethasone (n = 8)
  • Bortezomib, cyclophosphamide, and dexamethasone (n = 5)
  • Lenalidomide and dexamethasone (n = 1).

Sleep trends at baseline were not significantly different between the younger cohort and the older cohort. The mean sleep time per 24 hours was 578.9 minutes and 544.9 minutes, respectively (P =.41).

There were no significant changes in overall sleep trends during the course of treatment in either cohort. The median sleep change was -6.3 minutes per 24 hours in the younger cohort (P =.09) and +0.8 minutes per 24 hours in the older cohort (P =.88).

In addition, there was no association between the sleep measurements and ePRO scores.   

In the younger cohort, sleep time decreased by more than 1 hour (81.4 minutes/24 hours) on days patients received dexamethasone, a significant difference from sleep time on non-dexamethasone days (P =.004).

In the older cohort, there was less variation on the dexamethasone days compared with non-dexamethasone days, and the difference was not significant (37.4 minutes/24 hours; P = 0.35).

Dr Hevroni said this finding suggests younger patients are more susceptible to the psychological effects of steroids.

“Sleep is an integral part of well-being in the cancer patient, and future studies should continue to characterize sleep patterns as they relate to health-related quality of life,” Dr Hevroni said. “Mobile wearables allow us to collect objective sleep data that may be an essential part in enhancing existing ePRO tools currently being used as the standard for measuring health-related quality of life in cancer patients.”

Disclosures: There was no funding for this study. Some study authors declared affiliations with biotech, pharmaceutical, and/or device companies. Please see the original reference for a full list of authors’ disclosures.

Read more of Cancer Therapy Advisor’s coverage of the 2021 ASCO Annual Meeting by visiting the conference page.


Hevroni G, Mastey D, Tavitian E, et al. Using mobile wearables to establish sleep bioprofiles in newly diagnosed multiple myeloma (MM) patients. J Clin Oncol. 2021; 39:(suppl 15; abstr 8040). doi:10.1200/JCO.2021.39.15_suppl.8040