HPRC Researcher Receives Career Development Grant to Improve Cancer Pain Outcomes

HPRC Researcher Receives Career Development Grant to Improve Cancer Pain Outcomes

        Desiree Azizoddin, PsyD, a researcher at the TSET Health Promotion Research Center, was awarded a $1.1 million grant from the National Cancer Institute that will support her career development and research focused on the development of scalable behavioral interventions to improve cancer pain.

      Pain affects up to 75 percent of patients with advanced incurable cancers. Managing pain from advanced cancer is complex because while opioids should be made available and utilized among these patients, many continue to report undertreated pain.

      The primary goal of Azizoddin’s grant is to develop a novel smartphone app-based intervention that integrates brief pain-Cognitive Behavioral Therapy into an existing smartphone application that provides opioid management support for patients with chronic pain from advanced incurable cancers. Sixty patients with chronic pain related to advanced cancer will enroll in the study and be randomized to her app or usual care plus digital cancer pain education for six weeks. The study will determine whether use of the app is feasible and acceptable for patients and also characterize the preliminary effects of the intervention on pain and quality of life.

      This grant funding will provide Azizoddin with the protected research time, guidance and financial support necessary to develop an independent research career and specialize in the development of effective and scalable behavioral treatments to improve cancer pain. She will be guided by expert research faculty from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School, the University of Oklahoma and the University of California, San Francisco. Ultimately, her research will advance the treatment of cancer pain and improve the quality of life of those living with cancer.

      This research is primarily supported by NIH National Cancer Institute (K08 CA266937). Additional support was provided by NIH National Cancer Institute (R21 CA270069), the Oklahoma Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust Grant R23-02, and the Mobile Health Shared Resource, which is a component of the NCI Cancer Center Support Grant P30CA225520 awarded to Stephenson Cancer Center.