Hockenberry Submits NIH R01 Proposal to Study Leukemia Treatment Symptom Clusters

Marilyn Hockenberry and team submitted an NIH R01 transfer application entitled "Phenotype-Genotype Associations with Symptoms During Childhood Leukemia Treatment" requesting funding for a five-year period with a start date of July 1, 2012. The focus on a cure for childhood leukemia over the last three decades has resulted in increased survival rates of > 80%. However, efforts to manage leukemia treatment symptoms have not kept pace with new therapies that promote a cure. Symptom toxicity during treatment can result in complications, treatment delays, and therapy dose reductions. Compromise in therapy can negatively influence quality of life and, even more notably, jeopardize chances for long-term survival. This study examines biologic mechanisms that influence symptom toxicities caused by increased oxidative stress or cytokine production or actual failure of the anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory defense systems due to genetic variation. Understanding symptom clusters during leukemia treatment will pave the way for future interventions that decrease toxicity and minimize delays and dose reductions in therapy that may compromise a child’s best chance for cure.

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