Current Studies

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The following projects are currently open and enrolling volunteers. These studies have been evaluated and approved by the research team at Dr. Susan Love Foundation and members of our external Scientific Advisory Committee, comprised of researchers, clinicians, and advocates.

If you would like to learn about the studies we recruited for in the past, please click here.

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Biobehavioral Correlates of Cancer-related Cognitive Dysfunction and its Co-occurring Symptoms

Researcher: Diane Von Ah, PhD, RN, FAAN, Indiana University School of Nursing

Broadcast date: February 18, 2021

The purpose of this study is to identify underlying factors (such as age, stress level, and quality of sleep) that may be linked to memory and concentration problems that some people experience after going through treatment for cancer. The goal is for researchers to gain a better understanding of how these factors are related in order to find solutions to reduce the negative effects of treatment.

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A Pilot Study of an 8-Week Smartphone-Based Health Intervention for Cancer Patients

Researcher: Jennifer Huberty, PhD; Linda Larkey, PhD; Arizona State University

Broadcast date: December 22, 2020

The purpose of this study is to investigate the effects of a mobile health-related app on cancer patients’ symptoms.

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Fertility changes due to cancer: an investigation of meaning, psychological distress, and psychological support needs of women with breast cancer

Researcher: Elissa Kolva, Ph.D. University of Colorado Cancer Center

Broadcast date: November 19, 2020

The purpose of the study is to explore the types of psychological support that could help women who have reproductive concerns due to their diagnosis and treatment for breast cancer.

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Project SOAR: Speaking Our African American Realities

Researcher: Annette Stanton, Ph.D., UCLA, and Rev. Tammie Denyse, Carrie’s TOUCH

Broadcast date: October 23, 2020

The purpose of this study is to explore the unique experiences of African American/Black women with a diagnosis of breast cancer and their views of the Strong Black Woman concept as it applies to the breast cancer experience.

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Randomized Clinical Trial of RANKL Inhibition with Denosumab on Mammographic Density in High Risk Premenopausal Women with Dense Breasts

Researcher: Adetunji T. Toriola, MD, PhD, MPH, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO

Broadcast date: September 11, 2020

Studies have shown that women with dense breasts are at increased risk for breast cancer. The drug tamoxifen has been shown to reduce breast cancer risk in high-risk women in part by reducing breast density. The purpose of this study is to see whether the drug denosumab (Prolia), which is used to treat osteoporosis, can reduce breast density. If the drug reduces breast density, it could provide a new treatment option for risk reduction.

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COVID-19-Induced Stress and Symptoms in Oncology Patients and Survivors

Researcher: Christine Miaskowski RN, PhD, University of California, San Francisco

Broadcast date: August 11, 2020

This study will evaluate the effect of the stress associated with the COVID-19 pandemic on people who are being or have been treated for breast cancer. By learning about how stress, social isolation, and loneliness are affecting people with breast cancer, the researchers hope to provide a foundation for further research to mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on patient outcomes.

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Communication & Companions in Cancer Care

Researcher: Kathryn Greene, PhD, Rutgers University; Katie Devine, PhD, Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey; Smita Banerjee, PhD, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center; Maria Venetis, PhD, Rutgers University; Danielle Catona, PhD, George Mason University; Maria Checton, PhD, College of Saint Elizabeth.

Broadcast date: June 12, 2020

Studies have shown that effective communication is important for good health outcomes. However, little is known about the types of communication that takes place between cancer patients and their “companions”—the friends or family members who accompany them to many or most of their cancer-related appointments. For this study, researchers will have current cancer patients, former cancer patients, and patient companions complete a survey about how they felt about their communication experiences. The researchers will use the information to develop a program that can help cancer patients and their companions communicate better during cancer-related appointments.

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Daughters, Dudes, Mothers and Others Fighting Cancer Together

Researcher: Wendy Demark-Wahnefried, PhD, RD; Dorothy Pekmezi, PhD; Robert Oster, PhD; Teri Hoenemeyer, PhD; Laura Rogers, MD; University of Alabama at Birmingham

Broadcast date: June 3, 2020

Studies have found that early stage cancer survivors who are overweight have a higher risk of having their cancer come back. This study is enrolling survivors of early stage colorectal, kidney, prostate, ovarian, uterine, multiple myeloma, or female breast cancer who want to lose weight, and a friend or relative (buddy) who also wants to lose weight who both live in Alabama, Mississippi, North Carolina, or Tennessee. The researchers will explore whether a web-based weight loss and exercise program results in weight loss and improves the overall health and well-being of early stage cancer survivors and the people around them.

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Predicting Brain Health After Chemotherapy

Researcher: Shelli Kesler, PhD, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX

Broadcast date: January 8, 2020

Please note, this study was updated on 10/09/2020.  We need women with a history of breast cancer who have completed chemotherapy treatment at least 1 month ago and healthy women to help researchers gain a better understanding of the effects of chemotherapy on the brain. The research team is looking for volunteers age 35 to 60. The effects that cancer and its treatments have on brain health are not well understood. To address this problem, researchers at the University of Texas in Austin are examining brain function with computerized tests (done remotely via videoconferencing) and brain activity scans (done in person at the University, following strict COVID-19 guidelines). The purpose of this study is to evaluate brain function associated with breast cancer chemotherapy. Information about brain function from healthy women is needed for comparison with women who have breast cancer.

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Evaluating My Journey, A Health Program for Breast Cancer

Researcher: Betina Yanez, PhD, Principal Investigator; Feinberg School of Medicine Northwestern University; 633 North St. Clair; Chicago, IL 60611; Phone: (312) 503-2866; Email:; David E Victorson, PhD; Feinberg School of Medicine Northwestern University, Chicago, IL

Broadcast date: December 4, 2019

Hormone therapies are routinely used to treat hormone-sensitive (ER+ and/or PR+) breast cancer. Researchers have developed online health programs designed to help women with early-stage breast cancer learn more about hormone therapy and how to enhance wellbeing. The purpose of the My Journey Study is to compare two 8-week online health programs that have been developed to help women with early-stage breast cancer starting hormone therapy. Both programs include interactive health resources and videos. The researchers are interested in learning what aspects of these programs patients find beneficial.

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Evaluation of an Online, Remote Cognitive Battery for use in Cancer Survivorship (Remote Version)

Researcher: James Root, Ph.D., Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center New York, NY

Broadcast date: September 18, 2019

The purpose of this study is to evaluate a brief, game-like set of tests developed to measure changes in cognitive (mental) function. The test, called the Cogsuite Assessment, is designed to evaluate a person’s ability to organize and plan, initiate and stay focused on certain tasks, regulate their emotions, and process and interpret visual information. The tests also evaluate memory, motor function, and processing speed. This study is expected to help researchers design a test doctors can use to identify cognitive impairments in people who have been treated for cancer. The research team needs both women who have been diagnosed with stage 0 (DCIS) to stage III breast cancer and women who have not had cancer to participate so the researchers can compare test results between the two groups.

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Study to Understand Changes in Thinking in Breast Cancer Patients

Researcher: Tim Ahles, PhD, and James Root, PhD, at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

Broadcast date: November 5, 2018

Breast cancer treatments may have an impact on how the brain processes information and emotions as well as on a person’s attention span and behavior. To better understand and measure these changes, researchers at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center developed a new thinking test called the Sensory-Attention-Executive (SAE) Battery. The research team needs women who have not had cancer to participate in a study that will evaluate whether these tests accurately capture how the brain may change over time.

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Genomic Analysis of Long-Term Survivors with Metastatic Cancer

Researcher: Mark Burkard, MD, PhD, University of Wisconsin Carbone Cancer Center, Madison, Wisconsin

Broadcast date: May 10, 2018

Some people live for many years following a metastatic breast cancer diagnosis. To gain insight into why, researchers want to learn more about the medical history and health habits of people living with metastatic breast cancer. If you take part in this study, you will complete an online survey that will ask you questions about diet, exercise, health behaviors and medical care. Some participants who fill out the survey will also be invited to participate in an optional sub-study, which includes a medical record review, a blood or saliva sample, and tumor analysis. Findings from the survey and optional sub-study may help the research team discover how to help people live longer after a diagnosis of metastatic breast cancer.

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Finding Alternatives for DCIS Treatment

Researcher: Seema Khan, MD, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL, Joseph Michael Guenther, MD, St. Elizabeth HealthCare, Edgewood, KY, Amy Degnim, MD, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, Melissa Pilewskie, MD, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY, E. Shelley Hwang, MD, Duke University, Durham, NC, Stephen Grobmyer, MD, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH

Broadcast date: February 16, 2018

The purpose of this study is to compare the effects of a tamoxifen pill to tamoxifen (4-OHT) gel on breast cells in women with ER+ DCIS. This study will investigate what effects each treatment has on the DCIS and what side effects each treatment may cause. Prior studies show that the topical gel stays mainly in the breast itself with very little getting into the blood. The eventual goal is to provide women with DCIS with an alternative to oral tamoxifen treatment.

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Researcher: Laura Esserman, MD, MBA, University of California, San Francisco, CA and her partners from the Athena Breast Health Network (a collaboration across the five University of California Medical Centers and Sanford Health)

Broadcast date: February 16, 2018

Women receive mixed messages about what type of breast cancer screening they should have and how often they should have mammograms. The WISDOM Study compares the routine, annual mammogram schedule to a personalized screening schedule based on a woman’s individual risk factors. The goal of the study is to determine the best way to use mammograms to improve breast cancer screening while reducing the number of call backs, false alarms, and biopsies for women who do not have breast cancer.

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Phase I Study of T-DM1 Alone Versus T-DM1 and Metronomic Temozolomide in Secondary Prevention of HER2-Positive Breast Cancer Brain Metastases Following Stereotactic Radiosurgery

Researcher: Alexandra Zimmer, M.D., at the National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, MD

Broadcast date: September 19, 2017

The purpose of this study is to investigate whether using Temodar and Kadcyla together decreases the chance of patients with HER2+ metastatic breast cancer developing new brain metastases. Approximately 18 participants will take part in this study. Participants enrolled in this trial may be eligible to receive compensation for their travel expenses.

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Risk Factor Analysis of Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer

Researcher: Steven Narod, MD, Women's College Research Institute, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Broadcast date: March 15, 2017

Genetic and non-genetic factors are believed to influence whether a woman with a BRCA1, BRCA2, and/or PALB2 mutation goes on to develop breast and/or ovarian cancer. The study is trying to identify which hormonal, reproductive, and lifestyle factors may increase cancer risk in this high-risk group.

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Inflammatory Responses, Mood, and Physical Fitness after Cancer Treatment (IMPACT) Study

Researcher: Janice Kiecolt-Glaser, Ph.D, Ohio State University Institute, Columbus, OH

Broadcast date: September 7, 2016

The purpose of this study is to investigate the relationship between your cardiovascular fitness and your body’s immune response, as both may be related to fatigue (tiredness), mood, pain sensitivity, memory, and concentration—known side effects of cancer and its treatments. By learning if people with better cardiovascular fitness have lower inflammation, researchers will be able to discover whether and how regular exercise benefits breast cancer survivors.

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