Debra Lyon was notified yesterday that her grant application, R01CA127446, Cranial Stimulation for Chemotherapy Symptoms in Breast Cancer Patients, will be funded by the National Cancer Institute, NIH.

This important research project, which also includes co-investigators Nancy McCain, Jeanne Walter, Christine Schubert, and Harry Bear is designed to examine the effects of an innovative, nonpharmacological symptom management modality, cranial microcurrent electrical stimulation (CES,) for ameliorating psychoneurologic symptoms (depression, anxiety, fatigue, pain and sleep disturbances) in women (N=150) with early-stage breast cancer (BC) over the adjuvant chemotherapy treatment period. This project builds on Dr. Lyon’s NCI-funded pilot, feasibility study (R21 CA106149, Lyon, PI) of CES in women receiving chemotherapy for breast cancer. Results from the pilot study supported the safety and feasibility of the use of CES during the adjuvant chemotherapy phase in women with early-stage breast cancer. This new R01 will build on those results and compare the effects of CES to sham CES over time on symptoms of depression, anxiety, fatigue, pain and sleep disturbances in women with early-stage breast cancer receiving adjuvant chemotherapy. In addition, the investigators will explore the relationships among selected markers of inflammation (tumor necrosis factor alpha [TNF-α], interleukin-6 [IL-6], interleukin-IL1-β [IL1-β], and C-reactive protein [CRP]), symptoms and QOL; examine whether the symptoms of depression, anxiety, fatigue, sleep disturbances and pain form a cluster; and examine the effects of CES on QOL. The study findings could have valuable implications for symptom management of multiple common, distressing symptoms in oncology. Further, the proposed study will add to scientific understanding of the pattern of symptoms over time, the relationships of symptoms with markers of inflammation, and provide data for exploring the clustering of these symptoms.

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