Discipline: Biological Sciences
Subcategory: Cancer Research
Maryanne Mbesu Karuga - Dillard University
Co-Author(s): Vansh Vohra,University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX; Jacob Fuller, and Christopher Fagundes, Rice University, Houston, TX
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the American Cancer Society (ACS) recommend that all breast cancer survivors receive the seasonal influenza virus vaccine. Surprisingly, there is no data on post treatment cancer survivors’ antibody responses to the vaccine. Chemotherapy is immunosuppressive. In addition, the stress associated with the recent aftermath of cancer diagnosis and treatment may impair an individual’s ability to mount an effective response to the vaccine. Indeed, the first year after a cancer diagnosis and its treatments are all characterized by considerable psychological stress. To better understand the effects of psychological stress, our first step is to analyze blood samples in order to assess pre-vaccination antibody titers and cytokines. The next step is to administer a series of questionnaires, which will examine the effects of psychological stress that may arise from socioeconomic status, social support and loneliness, and early life stress. The predicted results are that non-metastatic breast cancer survivors will have a poorer seroconversion rate to the influenza vaccine. If our hypothesis is correct, then the current dosage for this vulnerable population will need to be reexamined.
Funder Acknowledgement(s): NIH
Faculty Advisor: Ruby Broadway,