Jennifer Barsky Reese Receives NCI Grant to Study Sexual Function in Breast Cancer Survivors

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PHILADELPHIA (November 27, 2018) – Women who survive breast cancer tend to have significant quality of life issues during their recovery periods, and sexual function is one of the most important but least adequately addressed.

Jennifer Barsky Reese, PhD, Assistant Professor in the Cancer Prevention and Control Program at Fox Chase Cancer Center, has received a grant from the National Cancer Institute to empirically test an intervention in this population.

Reese’s project will evaluate the efficacy of a couple-based intervention that addresses breast cancer-related sexual concerns and is delivered via telephone to post-treatment breast cancer survivors and their intimate partners in a multi-site randomized controlled trial. A total of 120 breast cancer survivors and their intimate partners will be enrolled on this trial at Fox Chase and Duke University Medical Center. Assessments will be conducted pre-intervention, post-intervention, and at three and six month follow-up. Reese will also be examining potential mechanisms underlying the intervention’s efficacy.

“Findings of this study could have a significant impact on clinical care for women with breast cancer, on the theory guiding cancer-related sexual rehabilitation, and ultimately, on the health and well-being of women diagnosed with breast cancer and their intimate partners,” said Reese.

The anticipated award is for approximately $3 million over a 5 year period.

Fox Chase Cancer Center (Fox Chase), which includes the Institute for Cancer Research and the American Oncologic Hospital and is a part of Temple Health, is one of the leading comprehensive cancer centers in the United States. Founded in 1904 in Philadelphia as one of the nation’s first cancer hospitals, Fox Chase was also among the first institutions to be designated a National Cancer Institute Comprehensive Cancer Center in 1974. Fox Chase is also one of just 10 members of the Alliance of Dedicated Cancer Centers. Fox Chase researchers have won the highest awards in their fields, including two Nobel Prizes. Fox Chase physicians are also routinely recognized in national rankings, and the Center’s nursing program has received the Magnet recognition for excellence six consecutive times. Today, Fox Chase conducts a broad array of nationally competitive basic, translational, and clinical research, with special programs in cancer prevention, detection, survivorship, and community outreach. It is the policy of Fox Chase Cancer Center that there shall be no exclusion from, or participation in, and no one denied the benefits of, the delivery of quality medical care on the basis of race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity/expression, disability, age, ancestry, color, national origin, physical ability, level of education, or source of payment.

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