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Prospective Analysis of Stress and Immunity in Advanced Cancer

Ikpeama, Uzoh Erick (2011) Prospective Analysis of Stress and Immunity in Advanced Cancer. Undergraduate Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Objectives:The aims of this study were to assess chronic stress in a sample of advanced cancer patients, test the association between stress and NK cell immune markers over time, and examine whether stress predicts immune markers over time.Methods:A sample of 99 patients were recruited for the study. Patient inclusion criteria were biopsy, radiological, or biological evidence of advanced cancer. Stress was analyzed using the Perceived Stress Scale and immunity was assessed using CD16+ and CD56+ lymphocyte subsets. . Descripitve statistics, Mann-Whitney U tests, and cross-lagged panel analyses were used to test the aims. Results:Mean stress levels were not higher than the general population. Using Mann Whitney U tests, significant differences in CD16 and CD56 were observed between high stress and low stress groups at several time points. Cross-lagged panel analyses also showed that stress predicted abnormal levels of CD16 and CD56s at subsequent time points.Conclusion:Although stress levels among participants was not higher than the general population, for those patients who reported higher levels of stress Mann-Whitney U tests and cross-lagged panel analyses suggested that stress was associated with dysregulation of both CD16+ and CD56+. This dysregulation could decrease the body's defenses to identify and destroy new tumor cells and contribute to the growth of the primary tumor or metastatic spread of the disease. Clinical applications of this study should involve developing interventions that are designed to lower stress in patients with cancer.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Ikpeama, Uzoh Erickuei1@pitt.eduUEI1
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairSteel, Jennifersteelj@pitt.eduSTEELJ
Committee MemberMiller, Destinydld22@pitt.eduDLD22
Committee MemberMarsland, Annamarsland@pitt.eduMARSLAND
Committee MemberHopkins,
Date: 9 May 2011
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 21 April 2011
Approval Date: 9 May 2011
Submission Date: 22 April 2011
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Psychology
David C. Frederick Honors College
Degree: BPhil - Bachelor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Undergraduate Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: chronic stress; hepatocellular carcinoma; Natural Killer Cells
Other ID:, etd-04222011-022921
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 19:41
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 13:42


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