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URMC / Clinical & Translational Science Institute / Stories / March 2021 / UR CTSI Career Development Scholar Links Frailty to Inflammation in Cancer Patients

UR CTSI Career Development Scholar Links Frailty to Inflammation in Cancer Patients

Frailty, which is characterized by weakness, fatigue and weight loss, is a common occurrence among patients with cancer and can impact quality of life and survival. A recent study led by a UR CTSI KL2 Career Development scholar, links frailty to inflammation levels in the blood of women with breast cancer. Women with greater increases of inflammation in their blood during chemotherapy were more likely to experience frailty after chemotherapy.

 Nikesha Gilmore, PhD, works with mentor Michelle Janelsins, PhD, in the lab

KL2 Career Development scholar Nikesha Gilmore, Ph.D., left, and her

mentor, Michelle Janelsins, Ph.D., in their research laboratory.           

“Our findings confirm that oncologists should consider inflammation and frailty in their patients, and perhaps personalize treatment, especially in older adults, to avoid undue risks of chemotherapy toxicity,” said Nikesha Gilmore, Ph.D., a research assistant professor of Surgery at the University of Rochester Medical Center, who conducts studies for Wilmot’s Cancer Prevention and Control program.

Gilmore’s recent study in Breast Cancer Research was partially funded by the UR CTSI’s KL2 Career Development Award program. Gilmore was awarded funding from the program in 2020 to investigate frailty in older colon cancer survivors – especially those who identify as African American or Black as they are disproportionately affected by both colon cancer and frailty. She is currently conducting a clinical trial to test whether the anti-inflammatory epigallocatechin-3-Gallate, commonly called EGCG, can reduce inflammation and frailty in this population.

Learn more about Gilmore’s current breast cancer-related findings in the URMC Newsroom.

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The projects described above are supported by the University of Rochester CTSA award number KL2 TR001999 from the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences of the National Institutes of Health. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.

Susanne Pritchard Pallo | 3/12/2021

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