Dr. Jun Mao, an Assistant Professor of Family Medicine and certified acupuncturist, is applying for a Mentored Patient-Oriented Research Career Development Award (K23) to become an independent translational researcher focusing on complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). The candidate seeks to conduct multidisciplinary research on the effects and mechanisms of acupuncture for symptom management in cancer. The substantial placebo effect observed in previous acupuncture trials presents a major limitation for studying acupuncture and interpreting experimental results. Therefore, the candidate proposes a comprehensive research and training program to investigate the placebo effect of acupuncture using hot flashes among breast cancer survivors as a clinical model. This K23 will provide the candidate with additional training in advanced research design, neuroimaging, and behavioral science to augment his initial research training in epidemiology. It will also provide mentored research experience through the conduct of a randomized controlled trial (RCT) to determine the magnitude of response to placebo acupuncture vs. placebo pill for hot flashes among breast cancer survivors. Furthermore, a feasibility study on functional brain imaging has been proposed among a subset of acupuncture trial participants to explore the use of serotonin transport binding as a potential biomarker to visualize acupuncture's effects for hot flashes. A group of multidisciplinary mentors has been assembled to support the candidate's career and research development, including Drs. John Farrar (acupuncture research methodology), Marjorie Bowman (leadership development and women's health), Andrew Newberg (neuroimaging), Caryn Lerman (behavioral science), Linda Jacobs (cancer survivorship), Deborah Bruner (symptom assessment), Sharon Xie (biostatistics) and Jay Amsterdam (biological psychiatry). The proposed research will provide an important methodological step leading to further investigation of the effects and mechanisms of acupuncture for hot flashes. Because hot flashes are a common symptom experienced by breast cancer survivors, and because existing conventional therapies are highly limited, this research and its follow-up investigation have the potential to benefit millions of women with a history of breast cancer. Furthermore, the mentored research experience and protected time provided by this K23 will allow Dr. Mao to develop into a leading translational scientist who can bridge neurobiology and clinical response of acupuncture for symptom management in cancer.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Center for Complementary & Alternative Medicine (NCCAM)
Mentored Patient-Oriented Research Career Development Award (K23)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZAT1-LD (22))
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Huntley, Kristen V
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University of Pennsylvania
Family Medicine
Schools of Medicine
United States
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Garland, Sheila N; Xie, Sharon X; Li, Qing et al. (2017) Comparative effectiveness of electro-acupuncture versus gabapentin for sleep disturbances in breast cancer survivors with hot flashes: a randomized trial. Menopause 24:517-523
Keefe, John R; Amsterdam, Jay; Li, Qing S et al. (2017) Specific expectancies are associated with symptomatic outcomes and side effect burden in a trial of chamomile extract for generalized anxiety disorder. J Psychiatr Res 84:90-97
Keefe, John R; Mao, Jun J; Soeller, Irene et al. (2016) Short-term open-label chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla L.) therapy of moderate to severe generalized anxiety disorder. Phytomedicine 23:1699-1705
Bauml, Joshua M; Chokshi, Sagar; Schapira, Marilyn M et al. (2015) Do attitudes and beliefs regarding complementary and alternative medicine impact its use among patients with cancer? A cross-sectional survey. Cancer 121:2431-8
Nyarko, Ernestina; Metz, James M; Nguyen, Giang T et al. (2015) Cancer survivors' perspectives on delivery of survivorship care by primary care physicians: an internet-based survey. BMC Fam Pract 16:143
Mao, Jun J; Xie, Sharon X; Zee, Jarcy et al. (2015) Rhodiola rosea versus sertraline for major depressive disorder: A randomized placebo-controlled trial. Phytomedicine 22:394-9
Mao, Jun J; Bowman, Marjorie A; Xie, Sharon X et al. (2015) Electroacupuncture Versus Gabapentin for Hot Flashes Among Breast Cancer Survivors: A Randomized Placebo-Controlled Trial. J Clin Oncol 33:3615-20
Garland, Sheila N; Stainken, Cameron; Ahluwalia, Karan et al. (2015) Cancer-related search for meaning increases willingness to participate in mindfulness-based stress reduction. Integr Cancer Ther 14:231-9
Garland, Sheila N; Johnson, Brad; Palmer, Christina et al. (2014) Physical activity and telomere length in early stage breast cancer survivors. Breast Cancer Res 16:413
Mao, Jun J; Li, Qing S; Soeller, Irene et al. (2014) Long-Term Chamomile Therapy of Generalized Anxiety Disorder: A Study Protocol for a Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo- Controlled Trial. J Clin Trials 4:

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