WVU Cancer Institute & Public Health Researcher to Lead NCI-funded Clinical Trial for Cancer Symptom Management

Dr. Nicole L Stout, Research Assistant Professor with SPH Department of Health Policy, Management, and Leadership and the WVU Cancer Institute will serve at the WVU site PI for an NCI-funded R01 clinical trial titled Nurse AMIE (Addressing Malignancies in Individuals Every Day) in Rural PA and WV, a collaborative study with Penn State Cancer Institute.

The study will enroll patients from rural WV who are undergoing treatment for advanced cancer and provide them with an electronic tablet for symptom tracking and management. The tablet-based symptom support program, includes an avatar of Nurse AMIE who engages with the study subject, providing coaching dialogue and evidence-based symptom management support strategies for physical and cognitive morbidity management. The symptom management decision support program is completely embedded onto the tablet and enables guidance for evidence-based interventions without an internet connection.

This work has the potential to impact the most rural of our cancer patients by providing them with support and guidance for proactive symptom management right in their own home, rather than having to travel long distances for supportive care services. Further, the functionality of the tablet algorithm is ideal for individuals in geographically underserved areas who lack access to broadband internet. 

Cancer treatment-related functional morbidity affects nearly 70% of individuals with advanced cancer, reducing their ability to complete Activities of Daily Living, and inhibits their participation in work, community, and social roles. By leveraging Nurse AMIE, researchers anticipate improvements in symptom management with reduced downstream health care service utilization as well as improved patient functional outcomes. 

The trial will kick off in May 2022. Any individual being treated for advanced cancer (Stage III or IV) who resides in an RUCC 4-9 county in WV is eligible. Dr. Stout can be contacted for questions about the study or about potential study enrollments: nicole.stout@hsc.wvu.edu