M. Robyn Andersen, MPH, PhD
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
2017 James A. Harting Pilot Study Award
RESTART: Learning to reduce stress and anxiety after treatment
Many ovarian cancer patients experience distress for years after their diagnosis, even during periods of remission and stable disease. Studies have shown that changes in the nervous system and inflammatory responses associated with chronic stress may promote cancer growth and metastasis. Therefore, interventions that reduce stress in patients have physical health implications in addition to providing social and emotional support. Dr. Andersen’s study will look at how a meditation-based intervention called “Building Personal Resilience” (BPR), tailored for ovarian cancer patients who have just completed chemotherapy, impacts health measures associated with cancer outcomes such as Heart Rate Variability (HRV). Dr. Andersen will also look at biochemical changes that may be associated with successful BPR intervention. This work will lay the foundation for a larger study that will not only improve the quality of life of ovarian cancer survivors, but may also have a direct impact on their physical health.