General Research InterestTrained as a clinical psychologist, cancer control provides Andersen with the opportunity to conduct intellectually stimulating and clinically important biobehavioral research. Her theoretical, empirical, and clinical research focuses upon understanding biobehavioral responses to the diagnosis, treatment, and course of cancer.
Research DescriptionNovel findings have been published within four areas. First, studies have confirmed the importance of stress (both stress increases and stress declines). vand its co-variation with immunity in cancer patients. Second, proposing a biobehavioral conceptualization of cancer stress and disease progression, her experimental work demonstrated that psychological and biologic pathways to disease can be altered with a psychological intervention. Thirdly, the collaborative trial, the Stress and Immunity Breast Cancer Project, showed that a psychological intervention provided to newly diagnosed breast cancer patients reduced the risk for recurrence and death from breast cancer. Fourth, studies have detailed survivorship trajectories across multiple domains psychological, behavioral, and biologic domains for the newly diagnosed as well as the patient with recurrence.
Transinstitutional WorkAll research is interdisciplinary, including collaborators in surgical and medical oncology, immunology, health behavior change (exercise, diet), and statistics