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Internet Use Among Women With Recurrent Metastatic Breast Cancer

This study has been completed.
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Information provided by:
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey Identifier:
First received: October 8, 2008
Last updated: January 27, 2011
Last verified: January 2011

RATIONALE: Gathering information about patients with breast cancer over time may help doctors learn more about a patient's use of the internet to find information about treatment, symptom management, and emotional support.

PURPOSE: This clinical trial is studying internet use among women with recurrent metastatic breast cancer.

Condition Intervention
Breast Cancer Other: medical chart review Other: questionnaire administration Other: survey administration Procedure: psychosocial assessment and care

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Primary Purpose: Health Services Research
Official Title: Internet Use Among Women With Recurrent Breast Cancer

Resource links provided by NLM:

Further study details as provided by Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • Use of non-internet cancer information
  • Use of the internet for cancer resources
  • Use of interactive technologies
  • Communication with treatment team and family members
  • Evaluation of internet resources
  • Changes in internet use over the course of treatment
  • Cross-sectional associations between patients' internet use and their individual, social, and professional network characteristics
  • Internet use and changes in patients' beliefs and emotional functioning

Enrollment: 70
Study Start Date: November 2001
Study Completion Date: January 2011
Primary Completion Date: February 2010 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Detailed Description:


  • To document the proportion of women who use the internet to access treatment and symptom management information and to seek emotional support after diagnosis of metastatic recurrent breast cancer.
  • To evaluate the association of treatment stage and effectiveness with internet use.
  • To evaluate the association of individual differences in patients' demographics, beliefs, emotional functioning, and social and professional support with internet use.
  • To evaluate the association of patients' use of the internet to seek resources with their beliefs, emotional functioning, and relationship functioning.

OUTLINE: Patients undergo assessments consisting of paper and pencil questionnaires at four time points. The timing of these assessments is linked to the patient's treatment course and her presumed need to access internet resources for information on cancer, treatment, symptom management, and emotional support. Patients who discontinue regular care at the Cancer Institute of New Jersey site during the course of the study may complete study assessments through phone interviews conducted by a member of the study team.

Patients undergo a baseline survey prior to deciding on a treatment course for their newly progressive disease. Patients complete the first part of the survey to provide information on demographics, beliefs about cancer, mood states, somatic symptoms, and available resources for cancer information and emotional support. Patients complete the second part of the survey, if they have used the internet previously to obtain information and resources about cancer or if they have received cancer information that someone else located on the internet for them, which inquires about patients' internet use, any internet resources they have received from family members, friends, or other people they know, and their own evaluation of these internet resources. Patients undergo the second study assessment after completion of the first course of treatment and prior to initiating course 2 (i.e., 3 to 4 weeks after initiating treatment). The third study assessment occurs within the first 2 weeks after the medical oncologist's first evaluation of treatment response (i.e., 6-9 weeks after initiating treatment). The fourth assessment occurs after the medical oncologist's second evaluation of the patient's response to treatment, following tumor re-staging.

Patients complete several questionnaires during these assessments to provide information about personal characteristics (demographics, physical and psychological well-being, beliefs about cancer and treatment, optimism), social and healthcare networks (perceived social support, social network composition, beliefs about treatment team), and outcomes (use of non-internet cancer information, use of the internet for cancer resources, use of interactive technologies, communication with treatment team and family, evaluation of internet resources).

The following information is extracted from the patients' medical record: stage and node status at primary diagnosis, previous oncology surgeries, previous adjuvant treatments, current menopausal status, treatment at time of recurrence, disease free interval, site(s) of metastasis, and response to current treatment.


Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years to 75 Years   (Adult, Senior)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   Female
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No


  • Diagnosis of recurrent breast cancer meeting either of the following criteria:

    • Newly diagnosed metastatic disease
    • Recently diagnosed as progressive disease after stable metastatic disease for at least 6 months

      • Must have received the same treatment for metastatic breast cancer for at least 3 months

        • Have received no treatment for progressive disease OR have begun treatment for progressive disease within the past month
  • Patient at the Cancer Institute of New Jersey in New Brunswick or Hamilton, New Jersey
  • Hormone receptor status not specified


  • Menopausal status not specified
  • Able to speak and write English
  • Free of diseases and cognitive impairments that would interfere with comprehension of the survey instruments or ability to provide informed consent


  • See Disease Characteristics
  Contacts and Locations
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, see Learn About Clinical Studies.

Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT00770055

United States, New Jersey
Cancer Institute of New Jersey at UMDNJ - Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
New Brunswick, New Jersey, United States, 08903
Sponsors and Collaborators
University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Principal Investigator: Deborah Toppmeyer, MD Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey
  More Information

Responsible Party: Deborah Toppmeyer, MD, Cancer Institute of New Jersey at UMDNJ - Robert Wood Johnson Medical School Identifier: NCT00770055     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: CDR0000592835
P30CA072720 ( U.S. NIH Grant/Contract )
Study First Received: October 8, 2008
Last Updated: January 27, 2011

Keywords provided by Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey:
stage IV breast cancer
recurrent breast cancer

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Breast Neoplasms
Neoplasms by Site
Breast Diseases
Skin Diseases processed this record on August 16, 2017