About Dr. Vichaya
Elisabeth Vichaya is interested in understanding the impact of cancer and cancer therapy on the brain. It has been shown that non-CNS cancers can profoundly impact brain function resulting in symptoms such as fatigue, depression, and cognitive impairment. These symptoms are often present at disease presentation, are exacerbated by treatment, and—for a subset of patients—persist for months or even years after cancer treatment is completed.
Dr. Vichaya engages in both clinical and preclinical research to elucidate the mechanisms by which cancer and cancer therapy exert these effects, with a particular focus on fatigue. The ultimate goal of this research is to identify interventions to prevent or treat these symptoms. Dr. Vichaya's training in behavioral neuroscience, neuroimmunology, and clinical cancer symptom research has uniquely equipped her for this multidisciplinary research. Her approach is primarily focused on using and developing, as necessary, preclinical models. She believes that preclinical research provides the most efficient method to identify mechanisms and screen potential drugs. Her primary line of work seeks to elucidate the mechanisms of fatigue using a heterotopic, syngeneic murine model of head and neck cancer, as well as a treatment regimen of cisplatin and radiation.
Dr. Vichaya notes that the primary hypothesis for the past decade concerning cancer-related symptoms is that these symptoms are a consequence of neuroinflammation. Although there may be a role for neuroinflammation in brain radiation-induced symptoms, her research indicates that cancer, cisplatin, and peripheral (limb) radiation can induce symptoms in the absence of neuroinflammation. Current data indicate that tumor-induced fatigue may be an energy balance issue resulting from widespread metabolic dysfunction in the body of tumor-bearing mice and that cancer therapy may exacerbate this effect by inducing mitochondrial damage. She is now studying these mechanisms in the context of cancer-related fatigue using behavioral approaches that tap into both physical activity and motivational processes. Further, she has a clinical protocol ongoing to determine if the mitochondrial dyfunction within leukocytes is associated with fatigue and activity levels, as measured by actigraphy, in cancer survivors.
Instructor, Department of Symptom Research, Division of Internal Medicine, MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX
|2011||Texas A&M University, College Station, TX, USA, PHD, Psychology/Behavioral & Cellular Neuroscience|
|2007||Texas A&M University, College Station, TX, USA, MS, Psychology/Behavioral & Cellular Neuroscience|
|2004||Wayland Baptist University, Plainview, TX, USA, BS, Psychology & Religion|
|2012-2017||Postdoctoral Fellowship, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX|
|2011-2012||Postdoctoral Fellowship, Clinical Symptom Research, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX|
- Vichaya EG, Laumet G, Christian DL, Grossberg AJ, Estrada DJ, Heijnen CJ, Kavelaars A, Dantzer R. Motivational changes that develop in a mouse model of inflammation-induced depression are independent of indoleamine 2,3 dioxygenase. Neuropsychopharmacology 44(2):364-371, 2019. e-Pub 2018. PMID: 29760410.
- Lacourt TE, Vichaya EG, Escalante C, Manzullo EF, Gunn B, Hess KR, Heijnen CJ, Dantzer R. An effort expenditure perspective on cancer-related fatigue. Psychoneuroendocrinology 96:109-117, 2018. e-Pub 2018. PMID: 29929087.
- Madeo M, Colbert PL, Vermeer DW, Lucido CT, Cain JT, Vichaya EG, Grossberg AJ, Muirhead D, Rickel AP, Hong Z, Zhao J, Weimer JM, Spanos WC, Lee JH, Dantzer R, Vermeer PD. Cancer exosomes induce tumor innervation. Nat Commun 9(1):4284, 2018. e-Pub 2018. PMID: 30327461.
- Vichaya EG, Dantzer R. Inflammation-induced motivational changes: Perspective gained by evaluating positive and negative valence systems. Curr Opin Behav Sci 22:90-5, 2018. e-Pub 2018. PMID: 29888301.
- Grossberg AJ, Vichaya EG, Christian DL, Molkentine JM, Vermeer DW, Gross PS, Vermeer PD, Lee JH, Dantzer R. Tumor-associated fatigue in cancer patients develops independently of interleukin-1 signaling. Cancer Res 78(3):695-705, 2018. e-Pub 2017. PMID: 29217760.
- Lacourt TE, Vichaya EG, Chiu GS, Dantzer R, Heijnen CJ. The high costs of (low grade) inflammation: persistent fatigue as a consequence of reduced cellular energy availability and non-adaptive energy expenditure. Front Behav Neurosci 12:78, 2018. e-Pub 2018. PMID: 29755330.
- Vichaya EG, Vermeer DW, Christian DL, Molkentine JM, Mason KA, Lee JH, Dantzer R. Neuroimmune mechanisms of behavioral alterations in a syngeneic murine model of human papilloma virus-related head and neck cancer. Psychoneuroendocrinology 79:59-66, 2017. e-Pub 2017. PMID: 28259044.
- Chiu GS, Maj MA, Rizvi S, Dantzer R, Vichaya EG, Laumet G, Kavelaars A, Heijnen CJ. Pifithrin-μ prevents cisplatin-induced chemobrain by preserving neuronal mitochondrial function. Cancer Res 77(3):742-752, 2017. e-Pub 2016. PMID: 27879267.
- Vichaya EG, Molkentine JM, Vermeer DW, Walker AK, Feng R, Holder G, Luu K, Mason RM, Saligan L, Heijnen CJ, Kavelaars A, Mason KA, Lee JH, Dantzer R. Sickness behavior induced by cisplatin chemotherapy and radiotherapy in a murine head and neck cancer model is associated with altered mitochondrial gene expression. Behav Brain Res 297:241-50, 2016. e-Pub 2015. PMID: 26475509.
- Linsenbardt HR, Cook JL, Young EE, Vichaya EG, Young CR, Reusser NM, Storts R, Welsh CJ, Meagher MW. Social disruption alters pain and cognition in an animal model of multiple sclerosis. J Neuroimmunol 288:56-68, 2015. e-Pub 2015. PMID: 26531695.
- Vichaya EG, Chiu GS, Krukowski K, Lacourt TE, Kavelaars A, Dantzer R, Heijnen CJ, Walker AK. Mechanisms of chemotherapy-induced behavioral toxicities. Front Neurosci 9:131, 2015. e-Pub 2015. PMID: 25954147.
- Vichaya EG, Hunt SC, Dantzer R. Lipopolysaccharide reduces incentive motivation while boosting preference for high reward in mice. Neuropsychopharmacology 39(12):2884-90, 2014. e-Pub 2014. PMID: 24917202.
- Kosturakis AK, He Z, Li Y, Boyette-Davis JA, Shah N, Thomas SK, Zhang H, Vichaya EG, Wang XS, Wendelschafer-Crabb G, Kennedy WR, Simone DA, Cleeland CS, Dougherty PM. Subclinical peripheral neuropathy in patients with multiple myeloma before chemotherapy is correlated with decreased fingertip innervation density. J Clin Oncol 32(28):3156-62, 2014. e-Pub 2014. PMID: 25154818.
- Fagundes C, Jones D, Vichaya E, Lu C, Cleeland CS. Socioeconomic status is associated with depressive severity among patients with advanced non-small-cell lung cancer: treatment setting and minority status do not make a difference. J Thorac Oncol 9(10):1459-63, 2014. PMID: 25170640.
- Jones D, Vichaya EG, Cleeland CS, Cohen L, Thekdi SM, Wang XS, Fisch MJ. Screening for depressed mood in patients with cancer using the MD Anderson Symptom Inventory: investigation of a practical approach for the oncologist. J Oncol Pract 10(2):e95-102, 2014. e-Pub 2013. PMID: 24281151.
- Jones D, Vichaya EG, Wang XS, Sailors MH, Cleeland CS, Wefel JS. Acute cognitive impairment in patients with multiple myeloma undergoing autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplant. Cancer 119(23):4188-95, 2013. e-Pub 2013. PMID: 24105672.
- Vichaya EG, Wang XS, Boyette-Davis JA, Mendoza TR, He Z, Thomas SK, Shah N, Williams LA, Cleeland CS, Dougherty PM. Subclinical pretreatment sensory deficits appear to predict the development of pain and numbness in patients with multiple myeloma undergoing chemotherapy. Cancer Chemother Pharmacol 71(6):1531-40, 2013. e-Pub 2013. PMID: 23543296.
- Vichaya EG, Young EE, Frazier MA, Cook JL, Welsh CJ, Meagher MW. Social disruption induced priming of CNS inflammatory response to Theiler's virus is dependent upon stress induced IL-6 release. J Neuroimmunol 239(1-2):44-52, 2011. e-Pub 2011. PMID: 22000153.
- Vichaya EG, Baumbauer KM, Carcoba LM, Grau JW, Meagher MW. Spinal glia modulate both adaptive and pathological processes. Brain Behav Immun 23(7):969-76, 2009. e-Pub 2009. PMID: 19435601.
- Meagher MW, Johnson RR, Young EE, Vichaya EG, Lunt S, Hardin EA, Connor MA, Welsh CJ. Interleukin-6 as a mechanism for the adverse effects of social stress on acute Theiler's virus infection. Brain Behav Immun 21(8):1083-95, 2007. e-Pub 2007. PMID: 17591434.