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Phyllis F. Cantor Center for Research in Nursing and Patient Care Services Awarded $1.3 Million for Cancer Projects


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Nurse-scientists from the Phyllis F. Cantor Center for Research in Nursing and Patient Care Services at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, received more than $1.3 million in funding for two separate research projects.

Mary E. Cooley, PhD, RN, FAAN

Mary E. Cooley, PhD, RN, FAAN

Sun S. Kim, PhD

Sun S. Kim, PhD

Robert Knoerl, PhD, RN

Robert Knoerl, PhD, RN

The American Association for Cancer Research announced that in partnership with the Lung Cancer Initiative at Johnson & Johnson, it will award $1 million to a multi-institutional team focused on developing digital tools to engage high-risk smokers in an innovative smoking-cessation program designed to encourage behaviors that promote lung health. This team project is co-led by Dana-Farber nurse-scientist Mary E. Cooley, PhD, RN, FAAN, whose research arose from her experience as an advanced practice nurse working as part of a multidisciplinary team focused on treating and supporting patients with lung cancer and their families. “Smoking cessation, even after diagnosis of lung cancer, is essential to improving clinical outcomes,” said Dr. Cooley. “Our hope is this program encourages behaviors that promote lung health and early lung cancer detection.” The other co-leaders are Peter Castaldi, MD, MSc, Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, and Sun S. Kim, PhD, Associate Professor of Nursing at the University of Massachusetts.

Biomarkers for Neuropathy

ANOTHER project received funding from the National Institutes of Health to study chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy. The study, led by Dana--Farber nurse-scientist Robert Knoerl, PhD, RN, will look at metabolomic and genetic markers of neuropathy in adolescents and young adults with cancer.

“Essentially, there’s only one first-line treatment for neuropathy,” said Dr. Knoerl. “One reason for the lack of effective treatments is we don’t understand the underlying causes of neuropathy. We hope with this study to identify potential biomarkers that can be targeted in the future.” 


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