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, Garet D, Sternlieb B, Ganz PA, Irwin MR, Olmstead R, Greendale G. Yoga for persistent fatigue in breast cancer survivors: a randomized controlled trial. Cancer. 2012 Aug 1;118(15):3766-75. Epub 2011 Dec 16
Bower JE, Ganz PA, Irwin MR, Kwan L, Breen EC, Cole SW. Inflammation and behavioral symptoms after breast cancer treatment: do fatigue, depression, and sleep disturbance share a common underlying mechanism? J Clin Oncol. 2011 Sep 10;29(26):3517-22. Epub 2011 Aug 8
Bower JE, Ganz PA, Irwin MR, Arevalo JM, Cole SW. Fatigue and gene expression in human leukocytes: increased NF-kappaB and decreased glucocorticoid signaling in breast cancer survivors with persistent fatigue. Brain Behav Immun. 2011 Jan;25(1):147-50. Epub 2010 Sep 18
Bower JE, Ganz PA, Tao ML, Hu W, Belin TR, Sepah S, Cole S, Aziz N. Inflammatory biomarkers and fatigue during radiation therapy for breast and prostate cancer. Clin Cancer Res. 2009 Sep 1;15(17):5534-40. Epub 2009 Aug 25
Miller AH, Ancoli-Israel S, Bower JE, Capuron L, Irwin MR. Neuroendocrine-immune mechanisms of behavioral comorbidities in patients with cancer. J Clin Oncol. 2008 Feb 20;26(6):971-82.