National Cancer Institute
Susan Lutgendorf

I am a Behavioral Scientist.

I am a BBPSB Grantee.

Susan Lutgendorf, PhD

University of Iowa

"Two important discoveries with colleagues have helped shape my career: The realization that we could directly test relationships between biobehavioral factors and tumor growth factors; and the recognition that a recent HIV experiment utilized the in vitro model we were searching for in our cancer cell work."

Dr. Lutgendorf's research passion is to understand how psychological processes such as social support, depression, stress, and resilience can affect tumor growth and progression, and to study behavioral and complementary interventions that may affect these same pathways.

In her laboratory's current research project, they are looking at effects of biobehavioral factors on tumor growth factors in the tumor microenvironment and how these variables are related to progression and survival.

The research team found that biobehavioral factors were related to promoters of angiogenesis such as VEGF, both in clinical and pre-clinical settings. This finding took them beyond traditional examinations of stress and the immune system in cancer, and into a new realm of exploration of how stress and other biobehavioral factors directly affect tumor growth and progression. This research is exciting area that continues to expand and has tremendous relevance for psychological and pharmacological interventions.

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Last Updated: 01/10/2012 12:02:52