Gynecologic cancers cause substantial morbidity and mortality among women. Developing, implementing, and disseminating interventions that reduce morbidity and mortality secondary to gynecologic cancers are a public health priority. To the extent that psychological factors may influence quality of life and tumor biology among women with gynecologic cancers, psychological interventions may represent an important adjunct to standard clinical care in this population. Among individuals with cancer, there is emerging evidence that stressors and psychological responses to stressors activate central and peripheral stress systems, resulting in downstream effects on the tumor microenvironment, e.g. hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis dysregulation, inflammatory/growth factor upregulation, that may favor tumorigenesis. Little is known about whether psychological interventions may modulate biobehavioral factors that may promote tumorigenesis among women with gynecologic cancer. This is a significant gap in the literature. Sleep quality, pain, and mood are three patient-centered outcomes that may represent important intervention targets for women with gynecologic cancers, as insomnia, pain, and negative mood states are (1) prevalent and (2) have been associated with HPA dysregulation and inflammatory/growth factor up regulation in this population in empirical research. The objective of this application is to examine cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) intervention effects on patient- centered and physiological outcomes among women with gynecologic cancers undergoing adjuvant chemotherapy. Grounded within the Central Arousal Theory of Stress (CATS) and a biobehavioral model of tumor biology, the central hypothesis of this application is that a CBT intervention targeting insomnia and pain will (a) improve nighttime sleep patterns, pain, and negative mood states, and (b) reduce cortisol levels, normalize daytime cortisol rhythm, and reduce proinflammatory/proangiogenic cytokine levels in women with gynecologic cancers. If hypothesized relationships emerge, they will guide future research examining the extent to which CBT may impact long-term quality of life, response to cancer treatment, and length of disease- free interval/survival in women with gynecologic cancer. The proposed study will be implemented by a multidisciplinary team with research/clinical experience in psycho-oncology, psychoneuroimmunology (PNI), behavioral sleep medicine, pain, reproductive immunology, and gynecologic oncology. The proposed study is innovative in that it will (1) combine empirically-supported CBT techniques for insomnia and pain into a multicomponent intervention tailored for women with gynecologic cancers, and (2) examine CBT effects on central sensitization of pain among individuals with cancer using quantitative sensory testing (QST). The results of this research will be significant to public health initiatives, because although gynecologic cancers are among the leading causes of cancer-related death among women, there is a paucity of research examining the effects of psychosocial interventions on patient-centered and physiological outcomes in this population.

Public Health Relevance

Gynecologic cancers cause substantial morbidity and mortality among women. Developing, implementing, and disseminating interventions that reduce morbidity and mortality secondary to gynecologic cancers are a public health priority. In spite of this, there is a paucity of research examining the effects of psychosocial interventions on patient-centered and physiological outcomes in this population. To the extent that psychological factors may influence quality of life and tumor biology among women with gynecologic cancers, psychological interventions may represent an important adjunct to standard clinical care in this population.

Agency
National Institute of Health (NIH)
Institute
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Type
Research Project (R01)
Project #
5R01CA138808-05
Application #
8477937
Study Section
Behavioral Medicine, Interventions and Outcomes Study Section (BMIO)
Program Officer
Mc Donald, Paige A
Project Start
2009-08-20
Project End
2015-05-31
Budget Start
2013-06-01
Budget End
2014-05-31
Support Year
5
Fiscal Year
2013
Total Cost
$256,662
Indirect Cost
$78,338
Name
University of Florida
Department
Other Health Professions
Type
Schools of Public Health
DUNS #
969663814
City
Gainesville
State
FL
Country
United States
Zip Code
32611