It's in the Name: ELLICSR is a Research Lab

Written By Menaka Pulandiran

​Did you know that ELLICSR is an acronym?

It stands for the Electronic Living Laboratory for Interdisciplinary Cancer Survivorship Research. Yes, ELLICSR is a research lab. But you won’t find white lab coats, test tubes, or chemicals in our lab.  Instead, our research focuses on:

This is an image of the research space at ELLICSR.
  • Learning from the knowledge and experiences of cancer survivors,
  • Examining new approaches to predict, prevent, and manage long-term effects of cancer and its treatment, and
  • Evaluating new ways to deliver cancer care and support.

One example of the research we do is the Helping Her Heal - Group Program pilot project. Male partners of women with breast cancer often find themselves in new territory and may struggle to manage the changing demands, cope with their emotions, and provide emotional support to their wives. We developed a 5-session group program to help partners learn new skills and gain more confidence while supporting their partners as well as tending to their own self-care.

When we evaluated the pilot session, the men participating said they gained helpful communication skills (like active listening), were better able to understand what their partners were going through, and appreciated having the support of other men going through the same experience. Their female partners said their relationships were stronger after the session in part because they were communicating better with each other.

The positive results from this pilot study have encouraged us to continue. We are now developing a larger, randomized trial to get more people involved so we can make stronger conclusions about this program .

You can read the full research article in Psycho-Oncology.