Harding University pharmacy professor conducts breast cancer research survey

Dr. Landry Kamdem, Associate Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences, has assembled a research team of Harding University pharmacy students in order to identify reasons for medication nonadherence in breast cancer patients and survivors. Kamdem and his team are seeking 500-1,500 participants to take their survey, and they are asking women who are current breast cancer patients or survivors to join.

Kamdem’s project will focus on hormonal therapies, documenting any prevalent side effects reported by patients and looking into overall cost of treatments to determine whether these issues contribute to noncompliance to prescribed drug regimens.

“Numbers of women have been affected by breast cancer, and there are many studies being done to find a cure,” Kamdem said. “Conducting this research survey is not only a way to optimize the uses of medications for these women but also a way to connect with them personally — to reach out and hear their stories and determine what changes can be made to better their health.”

Participants of the survey will be questioned about the type of breast cancer they had or have, co-medication, ability to pay for treatment, adverse drug reactions, and consistency in taking medications. Participants will be asked about the type of hormonal therapeutic drug they are taking such as tamoxifen, letrozole, exemestane, anastrozole, fulvestrant and dietary/herbal supplements.

This project is not the first Kamdem has orchestrated for breast cancer research. In March, the Journal of Clinical Pharmacology published Kamdem’s previous pharmacogenetic research on aromatase inhibitors to find how they react in patients with specific genes, research that no one else in the world has ever done.

“Over the last 10 years of my life, I have primarily been working on better understanding drugs,” Kamdem said. “Now it’s important to know the other half of the story. How are the women who are receiving the drugs feeling about those drugs? How are their lifestyles or emotions being affected?”

Kamdem said that the purpose of the research survey is to add the patient’s viewpoint into the equation. According to Kamdem, once patient stories are combined with the results found in the lab, researchers will be able to better understand how to better treat women with breast cancer.

“I think that this survey will bring, for the first time, real stories from women who actually had breast cancer. Hopefully it will open up a conversation about how we should proceed to help them,” Kamdem said. “As a pharmaceutical scientist, we always want to find scientific answers in genes. But the goal is not just to find answers in genes, the goal is to help these women. We want to be the catalyzer of this.”

Kamdem and his team are conducting the survey in collaboration with Dr. Laura Hutchins at University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. They will continue the study until reaching a minimum number of 500 participants.

Survivors and patients interested in participating in the survey may contact Kamdem at 501-279-4837 or lkamdem@harding.edu and join the Facebook page, “Breast Cancer Study: Help wanted.”

For more information, contact:

Shelby Dias, Director of News Services

501-279-4316, sdias@harding.edu



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