The overarching goal of the Department of Symptom Research is to reduce the symptom burden produced by cancer and its therapy. The term "symptom burden" includes the severity of symptoms and the degree to which symptoms interfere with daily living. We are working to reduce the symptom burden caused by disease, increase the tolerability of therapy for patients undergoing treatment, and improve recovery for cancer survivors by reducing symptomatic late effects of treatment.
In pursuit of these goals, the department employs a translational approach that ranges from bedside to bench and from bench to bedside:
- Preclinical research in our Neuroimmunology Laboratories focuses on animal and in vitro studies to elucidate the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying the symptoms that develop in response to cancer and its treatment, including cognitive impairment, pain and fatigue. We are developing preclinical and translational studies on regenerative medicine for treatment of neurotoxic symptoms and we seek to expand our preclinical and translational efforts to develop, identify and test novel drugs for neurotoxicities.
- Translational Research. We are developing translational studies on regenerative medicine for treatment of neurotoxic symptoms and are expanding our translational efforts to develop, identify and test novel drugs for neurotoxicities.
- Clinical research consists of observational and interventional clinical research focused on educational, behavioral and medical interventions for cancer-related and treatment-related symptoms, along with questionnaire development and methodology studies to design, validate and deploy symptom-assessment questionnaires for patient-reported outcomes (PRO)-based investigations. Our Symptom Assessment Platform provides long-term, expedited collaboration with drug developers to include the patient’s perspective in the development of new oncology treatments.
We actively collaborate with basic scientists, clinicians and imaging experts across MD Anderson.