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Grant Details

Grant Number: 5R21CA088293-02 Interpret this number
Primary Investigator: Lutgendorf, Susan
Organization: University Of Iowa
Project Title: Biobehavioral Immune Interactions in Ovarian Cancer
Fiscal Year: 2001


DESCRIPTION: (Applicant's Description) Ovarian cancer is the second most common gynecologic cancer. Because of low rates of survival for the majority of women with ovarian cancer, identification of potential factors contributing to compromised or enhanced host resistance at the earliest possible stage (pre-treatment) can increase understanding of factors that may influence disease progression and survival. The proposed project is designed to examine the relationship of stress, depression, social support, and coping in 112 women at the time of surgical diagnosis for ovarian cancer. This project is innovative in several ways. 1) We will investigate whether the behavioral-immune relationships reported in other cancers are present among women with ovarian cancers. 2) We will be using a surgery model that will allow us to examine activity of lymphocytes from peripheral blood against autologous tumor cells, as well as cytolytic activity of cells from within the tumor itself and from the ascites (fluid around the tumor). This will allow us not only to examine relationships of psychosocial variables with peripheral blood cells which likely are important in surveillance against tumor cells, but will also allow us to examine whether these relationships are present in the local environment of the tumor where inter-cell communication and cytotoxic activity is of primary importance. 3) We will be using a very sensitive and quantitative flow cytometric method to identify tumor antigen-specific CD4+ and CDS+ cells. We will look at non-specific and specific aspects of the immune response, as both are relevant to ovarian cancer. 4) We will also examine whether these behavioral-immune relationships are mediated by dysregulation in the neuroendocrine hormone cortisol. The significance of the project is that a clearer understanding of behavioral-immune mechanisms in ovarian cancer may enable the identification of biobehavioral risk factors for cancer progression that will be useful in cancer control and as targets of future intervention strategies.