Announcing the Cancer Survivorship Institute at the Lurie Cancer Center
Thanks to breakthroughs in cancer screening, treatment and research, more patients diagnosed with cancer will live long, rewarding lives. For many patients and families, these triumphs bring new challenges. The Cancer Survivorship Institute (CSI) at the Robert H Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University will serve as a nexus at the intersection of state-of-the-art clinical care and transformative cancer survivorship research, bringing clinicians and scientists together to develop innovative and impactful programs.
Through the Lurie Cancer Center, the CSI’s patient-centered approach to survivorship provides comprehensive supportive oncology services during and after treatment, including psychosocial services, rehabilitative and integrative medicine, and palliative care. Specialized medical clinics address concerns of specific groups of cancer survivors. The clinics are closely aligned with the Cancer Control and Survivorship (CCS) research program, which studies survivorship-related issues ranging from biological mechanisms, measurement and intervention science, to population health. Closely aligning our research program and clinical care via the CSI will further enhance exceptional patient care and translational survivorship research.
There are approximately 14 million cancer survivors in the United States, and that number is expected to grow to nearly 18 million by 2022. “Despite advances in early detection and treatment, the chronicity of cancer and treatment-related symptoms present challenges that can compromise quality of life and health outcomes well beyond treatment,” says CSI Director, Frank Penedo, PhD. “The unique medical and psychosocial needs of cancer survivors should be managed in the context of a long-term comprehensive, holistic and evidence-based approach in conjunction with investigations spanning from basic mechanisms to translational and community research models. The CSI incorporates these clinical and research efforts seamlessly to improve the lives of cancer survivors, their families and the community.”
The CSI’s Medical Director, oncologist Sheetal Kircher, MD, will oversee all programmatic aspects of survivorship-related medical care in the Lurie Cancer Center’s Specialty Survivorship Clinics. These clinics provide specialized services across diverse cancer patient populations, including treatment summaries and care plans monitoring for possible late-effects of treatment. Patients are also offered tools to help manage physical and practical concerns, and strategies to optimize their health.
Tim Pearman, PhD, will continue to direct the Lurie Cancer Center’s robust Supportive Oncology Program, offering psychosocial and practical support during all stages of care, including diagnosis, treatment and recovery. In addition, the Supportive Oncology Program provides patients and families with access to nutrition counseling, fertility preservation, social work and patient navigation services. “The establishment of the CSI will amplify the impact of our existing programs, and strengthen the Lurie Cancer Center’s role as a national leader in cancer survivorship initiatives,” says Steven Rosen, MD, Director of the Lurie Cancer Center.
Lynne Wagner, PhD, leads the Translational Research Program aligning clinical services with Cancer Control and Survivorship research initiatives. Melissa Simon, MD, MPH, will direct Community Engaged Survivorship Research and Clinical Initiatives, and oversee community based research programs focused on cancer survivorship.
“United by the vision of the CSI, our extraordinary clinicians and researchers share a common goal,” says David Cella, PhD, Associate Director for Cancer Prevention and Control Sciences at the Lurie Cancer Center. “The CSI will continue to enhance our mission to improve the lives of cancer survivors.”
The CSI will also hold educational and training programs for professionals and the community throughout the year. The inaugural professional lecture, “From Mind to Brain Cancer Cell: A Systemic Approach to Cancer Progression,” will be presented by University of Iowa professor, Susan Lutgendorf, PhD, at the Robert H. Lurie Medical Research Center on December 5th, 2013.
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Visit the CSI's website at cancer.northwestern.edu/survivorship.