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The TECC Center of Excellence in Cancer Communication Research is funded by the National Cancer Institute, and is one of four NCI-designated Centers of Excellence in Cancer Communication Research in the United States. The others are at the University of Michigan, University of Pennsylvania and St. Louis University.

Our Center's overall goal is to understand how interactive new technologies work to improve cancer communication. Our research projects focus on separating web e-health systems into conceptual components, supplementing the systems with a human cancer mentor for breast cancer and for prostate cancer, and facilitating web-based communication between the patients/family members and the clinical team.

The Need

Advances in communication technology have created important new opportunities to improve the quality of life for cancer patients and their families, especially patients and families in underserved communities. We are committed to providing cancer patients and caregivers with access to information and resources, and to understanding how those technologies work to help them better understand and manage cancer.


TECC is conducting several major research projects (and several smaller ones) designed to help us understand how technology-based cancer communication systems work. The first strips out user-driven systems and compares the quality of life effects of breast cancer patients with systems that combine two-way interactive systems with user-driven systems. In turn, these are compared with fully interactive tailored systems. A second project compares interactive tailored systems with a human mentor, both for prostate and breast cancer. A third project looks at family caregivers (for lung, breast and prostate cancer) and compares an interactive CHESS with a CHESS plus communication with the clinical team.

Principal Investigators:
David Gustafson Sr., Ph.D