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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Symptom Burden and Cognitive Function in Older Breast Cancer Survivors

Researcher: Jungeun Lee, PhD, MSN, RN, University of Rhode Island College of Nursing  

Broadcast date: August 23, 2021

Research has shown that of the long-term symptoms of cancer treatment that survivors experience, cancer-related fatigue is one of the most burdensome, along with sleep disturbance, pain, anxiety, and depression. The purpose of the study is to learn more about the impact of these symptoms, in addition to memory and quality of life for breast cancer survivors who are 65 and older, so that researchers can develop ways to decrease symptom burden in future research studies.

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Sleep Health in Young Women with Breast Cancer: A Mixed Methods Study

Researcher: Youri Hwang, MSN, Yale University School of Nursing

Broadcast date: May 11, 2021

Women under the age of 50 who are diagnosed with breast cancer often report stressors that are related to their stage of life, such as raising children, establishing their career, and changes in their body. Sleep problems are common symptoms that breast cancer survivors encounter, yet little is known about the sleep experience among younger women with breast cancer. The goal of this study is to better understand sleep experiences and what contributes to sleep disturbances in younger women with breast cancer. The results will help guide health professionals to develop more options for patients to improve their quality of sleep after a cancer diagnosis.

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A Study of Activation from Tumor Dormancy in ER-positive Breast Cancer Patients

Researcher: Steven Narod, MD, and Carol Townsley, MD; Women’s College Research Institute, Toronto, ON, Canada.

Broadcast date: March 30, 2021

Doctors do not know which women treated for early-stage estrogen receptor-positive (ER+) breast cancer will have their cancer come back in their breast or spread to other parts of their body. The purpose of this study is to collect information from women who have been diagnosed with ER+ breast cancer in order to learn which factors increase or decrease the risk of having a recurrence.

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Breast Cancer Treatment in Women with PALB2 Mutations

Researcher: Kelly Metcalfe, PhD, Women’s College Research Institute, Toronto, ON, Canada

Broadcast date: March 18, 2021

Research has shown that people who have inherited a mutation in the PALB2 gene are at increased risk for breast cancer. We have learned a lot about breast cancer that occurs in people with a BRCA mutation. But much less is known about breast cancer in those with a PALB2 mutation. The purpose of this study is to learn more about the effectiveness of screening and the effectiveness of different breast cancer treatment regimens in people with an inherited PALB2 mutation.

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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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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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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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Predicting Brain Health After Chemotherapy

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

Broadcast date: January 8, 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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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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WISDOM Study

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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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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