DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE - CONGRESSIONALLY DIRECTED MEDICAL RESEARCH PROGRAMS

Posted July 2, 2020

Often times, during the course of cancer research, the psychosocial effects of diagnoses, treatment, and long term health are not put at the forefront of investigations. Patients are left with stress, doubts, and fears that are not acknowledged in some cases and in other cases are not treated. Cancer research focuses on genetic studies, signaling pathways, immunotherapy, and technological advances to handle big data. Cancer patients’ psychological health in many cases is an afterthought. This critical gap is the target of the new Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 Peer Reviewed Cancer Research Program (PRCRP) Behavioral Health Science Award (BHSA). 

The BHSA is a new funding opportunity offering $1 Million (M) total direct costs for up to four years to perform innovative research and high-reward studies including prevention, quality of life, symptom management, resilience, and psychosocial issues related to cancer diagnosis, treatment, and survivorship. The overall goal of the BHSA is to advance behavioral health cancer science and fill gaps in the understanding of survivorship, including investigations into the psychological health and well-being of those affected by cancer (e.g., patients, family members). Studies proposed for the BHSA may span behavioral health research that examines quality of life, decision making and/or cognitive function, development and testing of educational interventions, and symptom management (e.g., toxicity of treatment, palliative care, psychological distress and anxiety). Researchers are especially encouraged to address at least one stage of survivorship (e.g., acute, extended, and/or permanent) as defined by the American Society for Clinical Oncology (https://www.cancer.net/survivorship/what-survivorship, https://www.asco.org/sites/new-www.asco.org/files/content-files/practice-and-guidelines/documents/ASCO-guidelines-summary-of-recommendations-tables.pdf).

Principal investigators with a faculty level appointment are eligible for this groundbreaking funding opportunity to change how science evaluates patient care and outcomes. Since the BHSA is focused on cancer patient outcomes and reactions, the BHSA requires the active participation of two patient advocates who should be involved in the development of the research question, project design, oversight, and evaluation, as well as other significant aspects of the proposed project.  

The intention of the BHSA is to fortify the patient along the pathway toward wellness through sound scientific design and research. With the BHSA, PRCRP hopes to change the landscape of cancer care for patients.

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Last updated Tuesday, September 29, 2020