for males ages 18-39 (full criteria)
study started
completion around
Principal Investigator
by Michael A Hoyt, PhD



Building upon the results of a single-arm trial designed to investigate the feasibility and acceptability of a novel intervention, Goal-focused Emotion-Regulation Therapy (GET), this trial is a randomized-controlled biobehavioral pilot trial of GET versus a time-and attention matched control (Instrumental Supportive Listening; ISL) in Latino/Hispanic young adult cancer survivors. Outcomes include improved distress symptoms, emotion regulation, goal navigation skills, and changes in stress-sensitive biomarkers.

Participants will be randomized to receive six sessions of GET or ISL delivered over eight weeks. In addition to indicators of intervention feasibility, the investigators will measure primary and secondary psychological outcomes prior to (T0), immediately after (T1), and twelve weeks after intervention (T2). Additionally, identified biomarkers will be measured at baseline and at T1, and T2.


Cancer diagnosis and treatment can be distressing in the formative period of young adulthood. Cohort studies reveal the prevalence of depressive symptoms in young cancer survivors exceeds the general population, and young Hispanic/Latino men are at particular risk for adverse outcomes after treatment. In fact, the majority of young adult cancer survivors will experience impairing, distressing, and modifiable physical, behavioral, and psychosocial adverse outcomes that persist long after the completion of primary medical treatment. These include psychological distress, impairment in the navigation and pursuit of life goals, persistent side effects, elevated risk of secondary malignancies and chronic illness, and biobehavioral burden (e.g., enhanced inflammation, dysregulated stress hormones) which influence morbidity and disease-related vulnerabilities. However, few targeted, tailored, culturally-relevant interventions exist to assist young Hispanic/Latino survivors in re-negotiating life goals and regulating cancer-related emotions and none focus on reducing the burden of morbidity via biobehavioral mechanisms.

Young or "emerging" adulthood is a period marked by goal attainment. Chronic illness experienced as "off time" in the lifespan interrupts goal pursuits and threatens valued life directions. As young adults return to goal pursuits, re-entry to post-cancer life can be a critical point in the survivorship trajectory. Behavioral intervention at this time is well positioned to confer longer-term impact. Emergent from our group's preliminary research, the investigators developed and pilot-tested Goal-focused Emotion-Regulation Therapy (GET) as a novel behavioral intervention to enhance self-regulation through improved goal navigation skills, improved sense of purpose, and better ability to regulate emotional responses in young adults with testicular cancer. GET is a promising candidate intervention to address the mechanisms likely complicating the resolution of cancer-related burden.

Responsive the need for feasible, effective, and scalable interventions that meet the need of ethnic minority survivors, 100 Hispanic/Latino young adults (ages 18-39) with cancer will receive 6 sessions of GET or ISL. Our team will evaluate primary and secondary outcomes at baseline, post-treatment, and 3-month follow-up. The investigators predict that GET will be associated with superior distress outcomes and comparatively greater reductions in adverse biobehavioral indicators (dysregulated diurnal stress hormones, elevated systemic inflammation), and these advantages will be maintained at 3-months following intervention. The intervention will be delivered via an interactive video platform to enhance access. However, the investigators believe that GET could be optimized to meet the needs of this group. To this end, the investigators will examine the influence of Latino cultural processes (Familism, Machismo/Caballarismo, Simpatia, Acculturative Stress).

Findings will be used to adapt the GET intervention for a future randomized efficacy trial.


Cancer, Goal-Focused Emotion-Regulation Therapy (GET), Individual Supportive Listening (ISL)


You can join if…

Open to males ages 18-39

  • Age 18 to 39 years at time of consent
  • Male gender; self-identified
  • A confirmed diagnosis of cancer (any stage)
  • Hispanic/Latino identification
  • A score ≤ 1.8 on the Goal Navigation Scale or ≥ 4 on the Distress Thermometer
  • English or Spanish fluency

You CAN'T join if...

  • lifetime history of bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder (self-report)
  • compromised cognitive capacity
  • self-reported medical condition or medication use known to confound measures of systemic inflammation (e.g., autoimmune disorder, active infection)

Lead Scientist at UC Irvine


not yet accepting patients
Start Date
Completion Date
University of California, Irvine
Study Type
Expecting 100 study participants
Last Updated