Dr. Julienne Bower's research is focused on elucidating the interactions between psychological and immune factors among cancer patients and survivors, as well as individuals at high risk for cancer.
One line of Bower's research examines the association between changes in immune status and behavioral symptoms experienced by cancer patients during and after treatment. This research is based on the hypothesis that activation of proinflammatory cytokines mediates fatigue and other behavioral side effects of cancer treatment, including depression and cognitive disturbance. Bower currently is conducting prospective studies of breast and prostate cancer patients undergoing radiation and immunotherapy designed to identify mechanisms of fatigue and other behavioral symptoms. In addition, she is conducting research with breast cancer survivors who have completed treatment but are still experiencing persistent fatigue.
Another line of Bower's research examines psychological responses to cancer and other stressful life events and their impact on the immune and endocrine systems. This research focuses on positive psychological responses, such as finding positive meaning from the stressful experience and the mechanisms through which these responses influence physical health.
Selected Cancer-Related Publications:
Bower JE, Ganz PA, Aziz N. Altered cortisol response to psychologic stress in breast cancer survivors with persistent fatigue. Psychosom Med. 2005; 67(2): 277-80.
Bower JE, Ganz PA, Dickerson SS, Petersen L, Aziz N, Fahey JL. Diurnal cortisol rhythm and fatigue in breast cancer survivors. Psychoneuroendocrinology. 2005; 30(1): 92-100.
Bower JE, Ganz PA, Aziz N, Fahey JL, Cole S. T-cell homeostasis in breast cancer survivors with persistent fatigue. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2003; 95:1165-1168.
Bower JE, Ganz PA, Aziz N, Fahey JL. Fatigue and proinflammatory cytokine activity in breast cancer survivors. Psychosomatic Medicine. 2002; 64:604-611.
Bower JE, Ganz PA, Desmond KA, Rowland JH, Meyerowitz BE, Belin T. Fatigue in breast cancer survivors: occurrence, correlates, and impact on quality of life. J Clin Oncol. 2000; 18:743-753.