Objectives A significant number of cancer patients experience depressive disorders. Numerous studies have demonstrated that depression in such patients is under-diagnosed and inadequately treated, due to various factors. One of these factors is a lack of an evidence supporting the use of antidepressants in cancer patients. The aim of this systematic review was to establish the evidence for the pharmacological treatment of depression in this population. Methods We searched Korean domestic and international database using the keywords“cancer”,“ depression”, and“pharmacological treatment”, limiting the search to articles published between 1980 and 2008 and grading the reviewed studies’ quality according to Scottish Intercollegiate Guideline Network (SIGN) methodology. Results Of 283 studies searched, 28 studies were appropriate for review. Conclusion The evidence for the pharmacological treatment of depression was limited. However, based on available literature, it seems the newer antidepressants are better tolerated and can be continued safely, with satisfactory efficacy, in cancer patients. Further well-designed, long-term follow-up studies should be conducted.
방법 및 결과