The overarching goal of the Department of Symptom Research is to reduce the symptom burden produced by cancer therapy. We are working both to increase treatment tolerability for cancer patients and to reduce symptomatic late effects for cancer survivors.
In pursuit of these goals, the department employs a two-pronged translational approach that ranges from bedside to bench and from bench to bedside:
- Clinical research consists of descriptive (observational) and interventional clinical research focused on educational, behavioral and medical interventions for cancer-related and treatment-related symptoms, along with instrument development studies to design and validate symptom-assessment questionnaires for patient-reported outcomes-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.
- Preclinical research in our Neuroimmunology Lab 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.
We actively collaborate with basic scientists, clinicians, and imaging experts across MD Anderson.