The Biobehavioral Sciences program at Fred Hutch aims to understand and reduce the biobehavioral and mental health impacts of cancer treatment over time. Working with physicians and clinical researchers throughout the US, we conduct large-scale studies to identify and reduce these symptoms in patients from treatment through survivorship.
Through research and direct patient services, we empower patients to participate in their own care and optimize their quality of life during and after cancer treatment.
The negative impacts of cancer treatment extend beyond physiologic symptoms. These include depression, anxiety, sexual dysfunction, pain, fatigue, sleep disruption, nausea and confusion.
Early research from our group pioneered the use of unconventional therapies like hypnosis and imagery to manage pain during cancer treatment. Since then, we have conducted studies and produced seminal works describing the symptoms and needs of transplant patients during and after treatment.
Our team in Biobehavioral Sciences enhances the long-term quality-of-life for cancer survivors and collaborating with our colleagues at Fred Hutch and Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, our patient care arm, by:
Having been instrumental in defining short- and long-term symptoms for cancer survivors, we are working to define programs for enhancing patients’ life after treatment. Our current work aims to assess whether technology can be used to help personalize patient care and give survivors on-demand information and tools to enhance their quality of life after cancer treatment. We also study muscle weakness and heart problems in long-term transplant recipients.
We have developed technological strategies to reach survivors through targeted web content, social media, text messages, and mobile health approaches. This enables individuals to participate in their care and provide for their needs in a personalized manner, whenever and wherever they may occur.
We are following young people and adults during and after cancer treatment to determine their long-term physiological, behavioral, mental and emotional symptoms. This is important work following our previous examination of adult survivors and may inform how we communicate with and treat people who have undergone cancer treatment as children and young adults.
We collaborate with clinical researchers to understand the mechanisms underlying the muscular changes and heart problems that often occur in cancer survivors after treatment. In addition to collaborating in clinical studies, we also investigate mouse models to determine the underlying mechanisms that lead to muscle weakness and other dysfunction. We examine whether exercise can reverse this dysfunction, both in clinical studies and in mouse models.
Muscle changes after cancer in survivors
Muscle changes after chemotherapy in mice
Cardiovascular effects of cancer treatment in long-term survivors
How exercise can improve muscle and cardiovascular health and other outcomes after cancer
Our team in Biobehavioral Sciences developed tools that have been used internationally as standards for measuring symptoms and quality of life for cancer survivors.
These copyrighted tools are available for use by investigators without a charge. Please complete the contact form to request permission and receive a scoring manual.