How Does Basic Research in Cancer and AIDS Approach the Concern for Quality of Life?

  • Jay A. Levy


Fundamental studies of cancer and AIDS are primarily directed at understanding and resolving the pathologic processes. Nevertheless, the effectiveness of the anti-cancer or anti-viral treatments developed must also consider the well-being of the patient. Measurements of quality of life, such as physical energy and mental function, need to be appreciated. For example, long-term survivors of Hodgkin’s disease therapy can have substantial cognitive loss (1). Surgery for prostate cancer can lead to marked morbidity in the patient. In some cancer studies, physical well-being has been found predictive of survival, independent even of the tumor response to therapy (2). Feeling well or being in control of your health may in fact amplify the effectiveness of treatment by using the potential influence of the brain on the endocrine and immune systems and thus the pathologic process (see below).


Conditioning Stimulus Human Papilloma Virus England Journal Enteric Nervous System Cellular Product 
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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jay A. Levy
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Medicine and Cancer Research InstituteUniversity of California, School of MedicineSan FranciscoUSA

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