NIH Press Release
National Cancer Institute

Thursday, November 13, 1997

NCI Press Office
(301) 496-6641

NCI's Office of Cancer Survivorship Awards Money for 20 New Studies

The National Cancer Institute's Office of Cancer Survivorship (NCI-OCS) has made its first 20 awards to study cancer survivorship issues in patients who have completed treatment, are free of cancer, and have survived cancer at least five years. The office allocated $2 million for each of two years ($4 million total) to fund supplements to existing grants and cooperative agreements. Of the $2 million in federal monies, $250,000 comes from the Public Health Service Office of Women's Health.

In addition, the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation and its Baltimore affiliate have committed an additional $350,000 annually for two years to support studies of breast cancer survivors ($700,000 total). The Komen Foundation is the nation's largest private funder of research dedicated solely to breast cancer.

Headed by Anna T. Meadows, M.D., the Office of Cancer Survivorship was established in 1996 to provide support and a focus for research and other activities dealing with cancer survivors. OCS workshops were held in 1996 and 1997 to define priorities for research, which included the prevalence of physical effects from cancer treatment, the prevalence of second cancers in survivors, quality of life, and quality and cost of follow-up care for survivors.

"These awards are only the first step in NCI's renewed commitment to cancer survivors and the issues which affect them," said Meadows. "The unprecedented action of the Komen Foundation to fund studies that were reviewed by NCI increases the number of awards we are able to make and prevents duplication of effort."

Invitations to compete for funding were sent to NCI-funded cooperative groups, cancer centers, SEER (Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Reports) registries, and organizations with cooperative agreements who had survivor-related research already under way. By limiting applications to organizations already receiving money, NCI was able to quickly begin this primary round of research. NCI received 49 applications and 20 were funded.

Of the 20 awards, five focus on survivorship issues related to breast cancer: three of these are supported by the Komen Foundation (marked with an * in the following list) and two are supported by funds from the Public Health Service Office of Women's Health (marked with ** in the following list). The studies in breast cancer survivors are of gonadal function and reproduction, cardiac function, cognition, secondary lung cancer, and lymphedema.

The remaining 15 studies focus on pediatric and adult survivors of other cancers. Among the childhood cancer supplements, funding was provided for studies of cardiac function, quality of life following bone marrow transplantation, genetic and treatment risk factors for second cancers, and tracking methodology to enable systematic follow up of patients into adulthood. Other adult cancer projects involve survivors of colon cancer, head and neck cancer, prostate cancer, and lymphoma.

NCI also issued a Request for Applications (RFA) for studies that would be funded in mid-1998 which explore problems affecting long-term (more than five years) cancer survivors. Three million dollars a year for five years has been committed to this RFA, which also grew out of the priority-setting workshops in 1996 and 1997. NCI also supports a portfolio of research projects affecting survivors that began prior to the creation of the OCS, such as studies of psychosocial issues and second cancers.

The Office of Cancer Survivorship, located in NCI's Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences, is designed to explore the physical, psychological, and economic well-being of individuals following cancer treatment. Meadows works at NCI part-time through an interagency personnel agreement. She also holds appointments at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine.

Institution and Investigator Study Title
*University of Michigan Cancer Center
Anne F. Schott, M.D.
Ann Arbor, Mich.
Evaluation, prevention, and treatment of lymphedema due to breast cancer treatment
*Southwest Oncology Group
Charles A. Coltman, Jr., M.D.
San Antonio, Texas
A study of the late cardiac effects of two different adjuvant chemotherapy regimens in women with node-negative breast cancer previously treated by SWOG
*Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center
Patricia Ganz, M.D.
University of California-Los Angeles
Los Angeles, Calif.
Effects of cancer treatment on gonadal function and reproductive health in long-term breast cancer survivors
**Norris Cotton Cancer Center
Tim Ahles, Ph.D.
Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center
Lebanon, N.H.
Cognitive impact of systemic chemotherapy in survivors of breast cancer and lymphoma
**Columbia University Cancer Center
Alfred Neugut, M.D.
New York, N.Y.
Studying complications in cancer survivors (lung cancer occurring after radiation treatment for breast cancer)
Childrens Cancer Group
Smita Bhatia, M.D.
Arcadia, Calif.
Second malignant neoplasms following childhood cancer: possible interaction between genetic predisposition and cancer
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center
Jean Sanders, M.D.
Seattle, Wash.
Quality of life in adult survivors of childhood leukemia treated with bone marrow transplant or standard chemotherapy
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and Stanford University
Melissa Hudson, M.D.
Memphis, Tenn. and Stanford, Calif.
Non-invasive evaluation of late cardiac toxicity in patients treated for pediatric cancers
University of Minnesota Childhood
Cancer Survivors Study
Leslie Robison, Ph.D.
Minneapolis, Minn.
Issues in tracing a cohort of cancer survivors
University of Minnesota Childhood
Cancer Survivors Study
Leslie Robison, Ph.D.
Minneapolis, Minn.
Molecular genetics in childhood cancer survivors: GSTT1 and GSTM1 genotypes and increased risk of second cancers
University of Pennsylvania Cancer Center
Anne Kazak, Ph.D.
Philadelphia, Pa.
Quality of life and symptoms of post-traumatic stress in 18- to 35-year-old survivors of childhood cancer
University of Chicago Cancer Center
Marcy A. List, Ph.D.
Chicago, Ill.
Quality of life and performance status studies of long-term survivors of head and neck cancers
Fox Chase Cancer Center
Sharon Manne, Ph.D.
Philadelphia, Pa.
Attributable medical care costs and quality of life in long-term survivors of colorectal cancer
Johns Hopkins Oncology Center
Cindy Schwartz, M.D.
Baltimore, Md.
Evaluation of risk for myocardial ischemia in survivors of Hodgkin's disease treated with mediastinal radiation
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center
SEER Registry
Scott Ramsey, M.D., Ph.D.
Seattle, Wash.
Attributable medical care costs and quality of life in long-term survivors of colorectal cancer
Dana Farber Cancer Center
Fred Li, M.D.
Boston, Mass.
Genetic testing of cancer survivors at high risk of second primary cancers: the RB1 (retinoblastoma-1) prototype
University of Michigan
Mark Chesler, Ph.D.
Ann Arbor, Mich.
Psychosocial quality of life and related service needs in cancer survivors
University of Hawaii
SEER Registry
Carolyn Gotay, Ph.D.
Honolulu, Hawaii
Beating the odds: a study of patients who exceed the expected survival time
University of Colorado Cancer Center
Linda Krebs, Ph.D.
Denver, Colo.
Quality of life of female survivors diagnosed during child-bearing years
University of Pittsburgh
Andrew Baum, Ph.D.
Pittsburgh, Pa.
Prostate cancer survivors' quality of life

* Funded from The Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.
** Funding from the Public Health Service Office of Women's Health.

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