by Beth Hill
A four-year, $1.4 million grant from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) will enable City of Hope Cancer Center to train approximately 400 professional caregivers in ways that will increase surveillance and follow-up care for cancer survivors. The three-day annual seminars will be hosted near City of Hope from 2006 through 2009. Estimates place the number of cancer survivors in the United States today at approximately 10 million.
Marcia Grant, research scientist and director of City of Hope’s Department of Nursing Research and Education, is the principal investigator for the NCI project, known as “Survivorship Education for Quality Cancer Care.”
“Advances in treatment and screening contribute to more people surviving cancer every year. Survivorship issues are key to improving the quality of health care,” Grant said. “This NCI grant will help City of Hope train caregivers to properly monitor cancer survivors for any delayed effects of treatment and ensure the best quality of life for them.”
Participants’ training will be based on a conceptual model featuring four dimensions of cancer survivorship: physical well-being and symptoms; psychological well-being; social well-being; and spiritual well-being. The model was created by Grant and her colleagues, Betty R. Ferrell, professor in Nursing Research and a co-investigator on the project, and Smita Bhatia, staff physician and director of City of Hope’s Epidemiology and Outcomes Research, Division of Pediatrics.
The team is planning for the first seminar in 2006. Members have arranged for speakers with national reputations in cancer survivorship to act as leaders. Fifty competitively selected cancer centers each can send two professionals to a seminar.
Grant, Ferrell and Bhatia are nationally renowned for their work on cancer survivorship issues.
Grant received a distinguished service award from the American Cancer Society and the Robert T. Angarola Award from the Southern California Cancer Center Pain Initiative. She has conducted multiple studies on quality of life and symptom management in cancer patients and has completed several projects aimed at disseminating pain management knowledge and end-of-life education to multidisciplinary teams from cancer centers nationally.
Ferrell, who is on committees formed by the prestigious Institute of Medicine (IOM) in Washington, D.C., was recently appointed to the National Cancer Policy Forum. She is nationally known for her work in the areas of pain management, quality of life and end-of-life care for cancer patients.
Bhatia’s research is focused primarily on issues related to long-term complications among survivors of cancer, with a special interest in second cancers. Bhatia is the recipient of the Leukemia/Lymphoma Society Scholar Award in Clinical Research.