Saro Armenian, D.O., M.P.H., assistant professor in the Department of Population Sciences, has been selected as chair of the Children’s Oncology Group Survivorship and Late Effects Committee.
The post was previously held for eight years by Smita Bhatia, M.D., M.P.H., chair of the Department of Population Sciences.
|Saro Armenian (Photo by Liton Francisco)|
The committee shapes aspects of researchers’ national ongoing focus on cancer survivorship studies among children and adolescents. Under Bhatia’s tenure, the group pioneered the first standard guidelines for the long-term follow-up care of these patients, who often develop health problems as adults related to their earlier disease and treatment.
“It’s a tremendous honor to be in a position at the national level to contribute so much to survivorship research,” Armenian said.
He believes teamwork among institutions will be critical to continued health advances in these patients.
“With current cure rates exceeding 80 percent for many childhood cancers, research on survivorship and late effects is growing more and more important,” Armenian said. “But because these cancers are relatively rare, all research has to be based on a collaborative approach.”
More targeted and biologic therapies will reach children with cancer in coming years, Armenian notes, and researchers must determine their long-term effects. Researchers also will study the mechanisms behind these long-term effects and determine genetic variations that make some more susceptible to them.
“More than 300,000 people are now long-term survivors of these cancers,” he said. “We need to keep them engaged and active in their care.”