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