Working… Menu

A Biobehavioral Intervention for Young Men With Testicular Cancer

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Know the risks and potential benefits of clinical studies and talk to your health care provider before participating. Read our disclaimer for details. Identifier: NCT04150848
Recruitment Status : Recruiting
First Posted : November 5, 2019
Last Update Posted : December 19, 2020
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
University of California, Irvine

Brief Summary:

This study is a randomized controlled biobehavioral pilot trial designed to investigate the feasibility and preliminary efficacy of a novel intervention, Goal-focused Emotion-Regulation Therapy (GET) aimed at improving distress symptoms, emotion regulation, goal navigation skills, and stress-sensitive biomarkers in young adult testicular cancer patients.

Participants will be randomized to receive six sessions of GET or Individual Supportive Therapy (ISP) delivered over eight weeks. In addition to indicators of intervention feasibility, the investigators will measure primary (depressive and anxiety symptoms) and secondary (emotion regulation and goal navigation skills, career confusion) psychological outcomes prior to (T0), immediately after (T1) and twelve weeks after intervention at T2. Additionally, identified biomarkers will be measured at baseline and at T2.

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
Testis Cancer Behavioral: Goal-Focused Emotion Regulation Therapy (GET) Behavioral: Individual Supportive Psychotherapy (ISP) Phase 2

Layout table for study information
Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Estimated Enrollment : 100 participants
Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: None (Open Label)
Primary Purpose: Supportive Care
Official Title: A Biobehavioral Intervention for Young Men With Testicular Cancer: A Pilot Study
Actual Study Start Date : November 1, 2018
Estimated Primary Completion Date : November 2021
Estimated Study Completion Date : December 2021

Resource links provided by the National Library of Medicine

Arm Intervention/treatment
Experimental: Goal Focused Emotion-Regulation Therapy (GET)
GET is a 6-session intervention delivered over 8 weeks to enhance self-regulation through improved goal navigation skills, improved sense of meaning and purpose, and better ability to regulate specific emotional responses. GET has an emphasis on goal navigation skill building. This includes work on goal setting with a focus on assessing progress toward achieving specific, realistic, and measurable goals. Emotion regulation components include basic cognitive restructuring skills, cognitive distancing, and coping efficacy skills (matching the correct coping skill to specific circumstances).
Behavioral: Goal-Focused Emotion Regulation Therapy (GET)
Six sessions delivered individually over 8 weeks

Active Comparator: Individual Supportive Psychotherapy (ISP)
ISP includes 6-sessions of individual supportive psychotherapy and includes components of genuineness, unconditional positive regard, and empathic understanding through reassurance, explanation, guidance, suggestion, encouragement, affecting changes in patient's environment, and permission for catharsis. ISP emphasizes maintaining focus on the cancer experience, supporting participants in the "here and now," fostering expression of emotion and discussion of difficult topics, and creating a sense of being understood.
Behavioral: Individual Supportive Psychotherapy (ISP)
Six sessions delivered individually over 8 weeks

Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. Change in Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) [ Time Frame: Change from Baseline (T0) at 12-weeks Post-Intervention (T2) ]
    The HADS was developed to assess anxiety and depression in medical patients. It purposefully excluded somatic symptoms (e.g., sleep disturbance) to reduce confounding psychological symptoms with disease or treatment. The HADS has become a "benchmark" measure of anxiety and depression among diverse clinical and nonclinical hospital populations, including individuals diagnosed with cancer. The HADS is a 14-item self-administered questionnaire, with 7 items assigned to each the HADS-Anxiety and HADS-Depression subscales. Each item is rated on a 4-point response scale (from 0 to 3). Subscale scores are typically categorized to indicate the level of anxiety or depression experienced where scores of less than 8 are categorized as normal, scores of 8-10 as borderline, and scores of 11-21 as clinical. A number of psychometric studies have established the scale's strengths, including its brevity, reliability, and validity and availability of comparison scores across different populations.

  2. Change in Systemic Pro-inflammatory Cytokine Levels (IL-6, IL-1ra, CRP, sTNFαRII) [ Time Frame: Change from Baseline (T0) at intrervention completion, an average of 8 weeks ]
    The investigators will focus on four biomarkers, IIL-6, IL-1ra, CRP, sTNFαRII, that indicate systemic inflammation and are associated with distress symptoms and emotion regulation. Levels will be assessed from plasma. Cytokine levels will be determined by immunosorbent assay (ELISA) according to assay manufacturer's protocols. All samples will be run in duplicate, and assays will be repeated on two separate days; intra-assay and interassay mean levels will be used in all analyses.

  3. Change in Salivary Diurnal Cortisol Slope and Daily Output [ Time Frame: Change from Baseline (T0) at intrervention completion, an average of 8 weeks ]
    Diurnal rhythm in salivary cortisol will be measured over three days at each assessment. Participants will collect saliva samples in their natural environment upon awakening, 30 minutes later, 8 hours later, and at bedtime. Participants will complete a diary to assess relevant health behaviors (e.g., caffeine, tobacco, alcohol consumption; physical activity, sleep) as well as daily stress. They will be instructed to avoid brushing their teeth, eating, or drinking within 20 minutes before sampling. Participants will keep samples refrigerated prior to returning them to the research laboratory and returned salivettes will be stored in a -20-degree Celsius freezer until analyzed. After data collection is complete, salivary cortisol will be analyzed with a time-resolved fluorescence immunoassay at the IISBR laboratory at UC Irvine. Several indices will be computed including diurnal slope, area under the daily curve, cortisol awakening response, and total daily cortisol output.

Secondary Outcome Measures :
  1. Change in Emotion Regulation Questionnaire (ERQ) Scale Scores [ Time Frame: Change from Baseline (T0) at 12-weeks Post-Intervention (T2) ]
    Emotion regulation skills will be measured by the Emotion Regulation Questionnaire (ERQ). The ERQ is a widely used 10-item scale designed to measure respondents' tendency to regulate their emotions in two ways: (1) Cognitive Reappraisal and (2) Expressive Suppression. Respondents answer each item on a 7-point Likert-type scale ranging from 1 (strongly disagree) to 7 (strongly agree). The ERQ is widely used in the context of clinical treatment trials and has well established validity, reliability, and factor structure (Goldin, Manber-Ball, Werner, Heimberg, & Gross, 2009; Gross & John, 2003).

  2. Change in Cancer Assessment for Young Adults (CAYA-T) - Goal Navigation Score [ Time Frame: Change from Baseline (T0) at 12-weeks Post-Intervention (T2) ]
    Goal navigation capacity includes elements of goal setting, goal clarification, goal adjustment, and goal initiation. It will be measured by the Goal Navigation subscale of the Cancer Assessment for Young Adults -Testicular (CAYA-T) (Hoyt et al., 2013). The scale is composed of five items (e.g., "I am able to identify goals in my life", "I know what steps to take to make progress toward my goals", and "I am able to redirect my energy when I feel my life isn't going in the right direction"). Participants indicate how often each item is true of them over the past 7 days on a 3-point response scale ranging from 0 (None of the time) to 2 (Much or most of the time). Criterion, construct, and procedural validity have been established with young adult testicular cancer survivors.

  3. Change in Career Thoughts Inventory (CTI) Global Score [ Time Frame: Change from Baseline (T0) at 12-weeks Post-Intervention (T2) ]
    The CTI (Sampson et al., 1996) is a 48-item self-administered instrument that measures an individual's level of dysfunctional thinking in career decision-making and career problem-solving. The CTI is normed on adults and broadly used in the context of I/O Psychology. Items are rated on a 4-point Likert scale ranging from 0 (strongly disagree) to 3 (strongly agree). CTI total score provides information about an individual's overall level of dysfunctional career thoughts, However, the CTI has three subscales: Decision-Making Confusion (difficulties with initiating or sustaining a career choice), Commitment Anxiety (difficulties with making a commitment to a career choice), and External Conflict (difficulties with balancing one's ideas with the ideas from others). The CTI has sound evidence for its content, construct, and criterion-related validity (Peila-Shuster & Feller, 2013; Sampson et al., 1996).

Information from the National Library of Medicine

Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contacts provided below. For general information, Learn About Clinical Studies.

Layout table for eligibility information
Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years to 39 Years   (Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   Male
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

  • between the ages of 18 and 39 years at the time of consent
  • confirmed diagnosis of testis cancer (any stage)
  • completed chemotherapy for testis cancer within 2 years prior to consent
  • fluency in English (per self-report)
  • sub-optimal self-regulation as evidenced by a score of 1.8 or below on the Goal Navigation Scale or a score of 4 or greater on the Distress Thermometer (DT)

Exclusion Criteria:

  • lifetime history of bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder (per self-report)
  • active suicide plan
  • disorder that compromises comprehension of assessments or informed consent information
  • self-reported medical condition or medication use known to confound measures of systemic inflammation
  • daily smoking

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its identifier (NCT number): NCT04150848

Layout table for location contacts
Contact: Michael A Hoyt, PhD 949-824-9937

Layout table for location information
United States, California
University of California, Irvine Recruiting
Irvine, California, United States, 92697-3957
Contact: Michael A Hoyt, PhD    949-824-9937   
United States, New York
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center Recruiting
New York, New York, United States, 10017
Contact: Attending Psychologist   
Sponsors and Collaborators
University of California, Irvine
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
Publications automatically indexed to this study by Identifier (NCT Number):
Layout table for additonal information
Responsible Party: University of California, Irvine Identifier: NCT04150848    
Other Study ID Numbers: 2018-4676
First Posted: November 5, 2019    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: December 19, 2020
Last Verified: December 2020
Individual Participant Data (IPD) Sharing Statement:
Plan to Share IPD: Undecided
Plan Description: Data will be shared upon request with permission of the investigation team.

Layout table for additional information
Studies a U.S. FDA-regulated Drug Product: No
Studies a U.S. FDA-regulated Device Product: No
Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Layout table for MeSH terms
Testicular Neoplasms
Endocrine Gland Neoplasms
Neoplasms by Site
Genital Neoplasms, Male
Urogenital Neoplasms
Endocrine System Diseases
Testicular Diseases
Gonadal Disorders