Project Details


Cancer is a major health problem among the elderly. Despite advances in
cancer treatment and options, some elderly may not have the opportunity to
participate in cancer treatment because of social factors. Advances in the
treatment of acute leukemia and small cell lung cancer have clearly shown
improvement in duration and quality of survival with occasional long-term
survivors. Patients who achieve complete response have significantly
improved survival regardless of age; however, early deaths related to:
toxicities, comorbid conditions, or other factors, may be important in
limiting the number of elderly patients who can achieve complete response.
Since the social environment is closely tied to physical and mental health,
the current study is designed to characterize social supports at the time
of initial treatment and, subsequently, to determine if such supports are
related to treatment, toxicity, or treatment outcome. The identification
of such social support variables may, in future studies, be used to predict
treatment outcomes, to develop treatment stratification, or design,
interventions (e.g., adding missing supports) to improve treatment
options. Patients with small cell lung cancer or acute leukemia represent
the two largest patient groups at UMCC and have treatment outcomes which
can be observed within the proposed project period. The intensity of
treatment for both diseases is such that the patients make regular visits
facilitating data collection. Thus, all patients with these two diseases
will be enrolled in the current evaluation of the impact of social support
on disease treatment and outcome. These patients will be treated on
current standard UMCC treatment protocols allowing for the standardization
of treatment and supportive care. These factors are of extreme importance
to the current proposals since they minimize variables which can contribute
to patient mortality. The investigators and support personnel have
expertise in the treatment of these diseases as well as the design
implementation analysis of the social support instruments which will be
used in this grant. These instruments include the case mix and severity
assessment method of Horn, the Dimensions of Social Support Scale by Cohen
and the Older Americans Resources questionnaire. These instruments will be
complemented by the collection of demographic and clinical data as well as
an assessment of pretreatment prognostic factors. All statistical
projections suggest that case accrual will be sufficient to analyze the
variables collected so that successful completion of the project is
anticipated within the funding time frame.
Effective start/end date8/1/847/31/87


  • National Institutes of Health


  • Medicine(all)

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