Help South Texas Researchers Learn More About Sleep Disturbance


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Do you get the recommended 7-10 hours of sleep a night?  

Insufficient sleep and poor sleep quality contribute to the development and management of many health issues, from diabetes to heart disease, according to the CDC 

Researchers at UT Health San Antonio and their partners are studying sleep disturbances among blood cancer patients and comparing effectiveness of two wellness-based mobile apps to help improve sleep.  

The Reducing Sleep disTurbance in Cancer (REST-C) study, also called the Heme Study, is a clinical trial that is currently recruiting adults diagnosed with blood cancer and experiencing sleep disturbance. A clinical trial is a study that helps researchers learn more about how different treatments and interventions can be used to help slow, manage, and treat different symptoms and diseases.  

Go here to learn more and find out if you’re eligible!  

Goals of the Heme Study on Sleep Disturbances   

Hematological cancers, commonly known as blood cancers, occur when blood cells grow abnormally, interfering with how normal blood cells function. 

The three most common types of blood cancer include:  

The Heme Study aims to study the effects of two different wellness-based smartphone apps on blood cancer patient outcomes, including sleep, fatigue, anxiety, depression, and blood biomarkers of inflammation.  

The study team includes Dr. Supreet Kaur, a hematologist oncologist at the Mays Cancer Center at UT Health San Antonio, Dr. Ruben Mesa, leader of the Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Comprehensive Cancer Center, and Dr. Jen Huberty, a behavioral health scientist. 

“The findings of this study may help physicians and researchers better understand how mobile wellness mobile apps can help in managing symptom burden and inflammation in blood cancer patients,” according to the study website 

Go here to learn more and find out if you’re eligible! 

Participating in the Heme Study on Sleep Disturbances 

Participation in the study will include:  

  • Completing online surveys  
  • Wearing a sleep device on index finger and tracking nightly sleep  
  • Providing three blood samples at a nearby lab  
  • Being randomized to use one of two wellness apps  
  • Using wellness app 10 minutes per day for 8 weeks 

Participants can earn up to $100 for completing all study-related measures.  

Go here to learn more and find out if you’re eligible! 

Eligibility for the Heme Study on Sleep Disturbances 

Participant eligibility for the study includes age, cancer diagnosis, treatment status, and more:  

  • Adults (age 18 or older) diagnosed with a blood cancer and undergoing active treatment 
  • Not currently participating in a therapeutic pharmacologic clinical trial 
  • Experiencing moderate sleep disturbances or problems with sleep 
  • Own a smartphone and willing to download two mobile apps 
  • Willing to be randomized 
  • Willing to drive to a nearby lab for blood draws 3x during the study over the course of 20 weeks (8-week intervention period followed by 12-week follow-up period) 
  • Able to read/understand English 

Participants cannot participate if they reside outside of the United States or identified as high risk for sleep apnea or have a diagnosis of certain medical or psychiatric condition. 

Other exclusion criteria include:  

  • Current meditation practice or meditative movement practice (i.e., yoga, tai chi, qi gong) of 60 min/week in the past 2 months 
  • Any planned change in pharmacologic therapy (i.e., new drug) or allogenic stem cell transplantation during the study timeframe (i.e., 20 weeks) 
  • Current diagnosis of a sleep disorder (except insomnia) 
  • Currently taking prescribed sleep medications, over-the-counter drugs, and/or supplements more than 3 times per week

Contact for more info. 

Go here to learn more and find out if you’re eligible! 

The Need for Latino Participation in Clinical Trials  

Latinos and other groups struggle with sleep issues. 

But without Latino volunteers for clinical trials like the Heme Study, any benefits or knowledge discovered may miss this group. 

“Latinos in clinical trials are not only helping themselves, but they are also building a future with better treatments that can help their families and communities in the future,” said Dr. Ramirez, leader of Salud America! at UT Health San Antonio.  

Dr. Ramirez is creating new ways to encourage Latinos to volunteer for cancer and Alzheimer’s clinical trials, with support from Genentech, a member of the Roche Group.  

She is raising awareness by using Salud America! to showcase open clinical trials and uplift the stories of Latino clinical trial participants along with social media events and webinars.  

Looking for a clinical trial that best fits you or someone in your family?  

Visit UT Health San Antonio’s Glenn Biggs Institute for Alzheimer’s and Neurodegenerative Diseases website to view their available clinical trials and eligibility requirements.

Search the Mays Cancer Center at UT Health San Antonio’s Find a Clinical Trial database to learn more about available clinical trials and eligibility requirements.

Seek a cancer trial anywhere in the nation here.


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