The Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center Survivorship Program and its Directors, K. Scott Baker, MD, and Karen Syrjala, PhD, have been selected to lead a nationwide study that aims to improve long-term health outcomes for cancer survivors between the ages of 18 and 39 years.
Underway this spring, the study will involve the Livestrong Survivorship Center of Excellence Network, a collaborative research group of seven National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer centers, including the Fred Hutchinson/University of Washington Cancer Consortium.
The Livestrong Foundation awarded the group $1.2 million for the initial study start-up to learn more about its young-adult cancer survivors with four goals in mind: testing the impact of providing essential elements of survivorship care, including a treatment summary and a survivorship care plan with recommendations for ongoing health monitoring, strategies for improving health, and future cancer screenings; providing evidence to support long-term follow-up recommendations for these adult survivors; determining effective methods of communication for survivors in this age group; and testing treatments that could improve survivors’ health and well-being.
“There’s a compelling need for this work, as young adults fall into the gap between studies of childhood cancer patients and those in mid to late life, who more commonly have cancer,” Dr. Baker said. “Young people with cancer are impacted at a very formative, critical time of life, and we must put more effort into learning how we can help them thrive in the years following treatment.”
NCI-designated Sites Participating in Study
Collaborating sites include The Abramson Cancer Center at the University of Pennsylvania, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center at UCLA, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, University of Colorado Cancer Center and University of North Carolina Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center.
The study goal is to recruit a total of 3,000 former patients from across the network of cancer centers. The survivors in the study are a year or more out from cancer treatment, and they will be followed for at least 3 years.
For more information visit www.fhcrc.org/survivorship. ■