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Cancer Control Research

5R21CA098794-02
Wenzel, Lari B.
PSYCHONEUROIMMUNOLOGY AND CERVICAL CANCER

Abstract

DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Cervical cancer patients experience significant illness-specific stress that includes physical, emotional and sexual problems years after diagnosis. However, there is a paucity of literature on interventions designed to minimize the stressors and disruptions associated with cervical cancer. An intervention that reduces stress and enhances adaptive coping skills could decrease the burden caused by cervical cancer by improving QoL and health outcomes. For example, recent descriptions of neurologic and neuroendocrine interactions with the immune system provide a rational basis for the mind-body bridge between the psychosocial (QoL) and physiologic (anti-tumor) clinical effects. An underpinning for modulations of the immunologic environment could affect acute and memory anti-tumor immune responses. Therefore, our long-term objective is to test a psychosocial telephone counseling (PTC) intervention, which could positively impact the quality of life of cervical cancer patients, with an associated modulation of the psychoneuroimmunologic axis resulting in an accentuated Th1 and anti-tumor memory T cell immune response. The proposed exploratory study will permit us to examine the methodologic feasibility and benefits associated with a novel counseling intervention, and test the hypothesis that intervention-induced longitudinal modulations in quality of life measures will be associated with longitudinal modulations in neuroendocrine and immune parameters. SPECIFIC AIMS: 1) Determine the methodologic feasibility and QoL benefits of a psychosocial telephone counseling (PTC) intervention for cervical cancer patients, 2) evaluate longitudinal immune and neuroendocrine parameters in cervical cancer patients +/- PTC, and 3) evaluate the correlation between PTC associated modulation of QoL measures and biologic parameters (neuroendocrine and immune). To achieve these aims, we will randomize cervical cancer patients to telephone counseling (N=25) or usual care (N=25), and collect neuroimmune and quality of life data on all patients at baseline (3-9 months post diagnosis), and four months post enrollment. All patients will be identified through the Cancer Surveillance Program of Orange, Imperial and San Diego Counties (CSPOC/SanDIOC).


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