We propose to recruit a bright and productive young clinical investigator from the University of Rochester, Oxana Palesh, Ph.D., to a tenure-track Assistant Professorship and mentor her development as a researcher in CAM mind/body medical interventions. Her work will help us develop the Stanford P30 Mind-Body Core Center program linking our Stanford Center for Integrative Medicine, the Center on Stress and Health, and the Stanford Cancer Center. This Core Center program will study the effects of disruption in circadian rhythms (in particular sleep and dysregulation of Cortisol) on cancer progression and will evaluate the efficacy of CAM interventions in improving sleep and extending survival time with cancer. We have in place methods and facilities to study sleep and circadian hormonal rhythms and their interaction with immune function. This recruitment would put in place a full-time clinical researcher who has recently received a K Award from NCI to study sleep and breast cancer and evaluate the impact of behavioral interventions on sleep disruption, the capacity for self-soothing via improved vagal tone, and cancer survival. The P30 would allow us to complete Dr. Palesh's recruitment and develop a collaborative program involving the Stanford Cancer Center (Dr. Mitchell, Director) and researchers in psychoneuroimmunology (Dr.Dhabhar), sleep physiology (Dr. Zeitzer), breast cancer (Dr. Carlson), and Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) treatments for sleep and insomnia researcher (Dr. Manber). It would also involve expert biostatistical consultation from Dr. Booil Jo, and would be directed by Dr. Spiegel, with expertise in psychooncology and integrative medicine. We plan to develop a strong mind/body integrative research focus linking circadian biology to cancer progression. The goals of this grant are: 1) to provide appropriate research support for Dr. Palesh to conduct her own research and to contribute to the overall scientific mission of the Mind/Body Core Center;2) to utilize existing institutional strengths (e.g., infrastructure to study sleep, stress, endocrine and immune function, and disease progression) to develop and conduct pilot studies of the effects of CAM interventions (e.g., mindfulness, acupuncture, hypnosis) on sleep and cancer progression.

Public Health Relevance

This Core Center would help us to recruit and support a promising young clinical researcher while building a program that examines the effectiveness of CAM interventions (mindfulness, acupuncture, hypnosis) in helping cancer patients to sleep better. Our core would also evaluate the effect of improved sleep on stress hormones, the immune system, and survival time with cancer.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Center for Complementary & Alternative Medicine (NCCAM)
Center Core Grants (P30)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZAT1-G (18))
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Huntley, Kristen V
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Stanford University
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Haddad, Nadia Elisabeth; Palesh, Oxana (2014) Acupuncture in the treatment of cancer-related psychological symptoms. Integr Cancer Ther 13:371-85
Diaz, Michael; Aldridge-Gerry, Arianna; Spiegel, David (2014) Posttraumatic growth and diurnal cortisol slope among women with metastatic breast cancer. Psychoneuroendocrinology 44:83-7
Palesh, Oxana; Demark-Wahnefried, Wendy; Mustian, Karen et al. (2011) Conducting cancer control and survivorship research via cooperative groups: a report from the American Society of Preventive Oncology. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 20:1050-5
Spiegel, David (2011) Mind matters in cancer survival. JAMA 305:502-3
Lanius, Ruth A; Vermetten, Eric; Loewenstein, Richard J et al. (2010) Emotion modulation in PTSD: Clinical and neurobiological evidence for a dissociative subtype. Am J Psychiatry 167:640-7