Musculoskeletal and Cardiomyopathy

Biobehavioral Sciences

Mechanisms for Musculoskeletal and Cardiomyopathy Late Effects

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Muscle Joint and Bone: Musculoskeletal Health in Long Term Hematopoietic Cell Transplant Survivors Study
Principal Investigator: Karen Syrjala, PhD, Co-Investigator: Jean Yi, PhD

This research goal is to determine biologic and behavioral mechanisms that contribute to musculoskeletal dysfunction related to fatigue and poor endurance in cancer survivors, and then test interventions to reverse or prevent these long term deficits. We assess survivors’ symptoms with patient-reported outcomes, body composition scans, treadmill testing and lab tests. Our goals are to assess: 1) the relationship between objective muscle weakness measures, physical inactivity and complaints of muscle weakness and fatigue, 2) the relationship of biomarkers to muscle weakness, leg cramps, joint or muscle stiffness and pain, and 3) oxidative stress and mitochondrial energetics that may relate to accelerated aging in cancer survivors.

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Cancer Treatment Late Effects: Development of a Translational Mouse Model of Chemotherapy Late Effects
Principal Investigator: Karen Syrjala, PhD, Co-Investigator: Marie-Laure Crouch, PhD

Many of the 15 million cancer survivors in the U.S. suffer for years after treatment from fatigue and muscle and heart problems related to their cancer treatment that can impair the quality of their lives or even shorten their lives. This project uses mice to model late effects of chemotherapy and to better understand the mechanisms that cause heart and skeletal muscles dysfunction after chemotherapy. The ultimate goal of this research is to reverse and/or prevent these long-term problems in cancer survivors by devising targeted therapeutic and/or preventive intervention.