An NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center
Virginia Sun

Virginia Sun, Ph.D., R.N.

Associate Professor, Division of Nursing Research and Education, Department of Population Sciences Education
Research Focus
  • To develop and test interventions to improve patient-and family-centered care and outcomes in cancer surgery and post-treatment survivorship

Clinical Teams

  • Gastrointestinal Cancers
  • Lung Cancer and Thoracic Oncology
  • Pancreatic Cancer
  • Surgery - Gynecological Oncology
Dr. Sun has 17 years of experience as an oncology nurse and 4 years of experience as an oncology nurse practitioner before becoming a full-time nurse scientist. Dr. Sun’s research program is focused on cancer surgery and cancer survivorship populations, with a specific interest in thoracic, GI, and hepatobiliary malignancies. The goal of her research program is to develop and test interventions to improve patient- and family-centered care and outcomes.
There are two overarching aims in this research program:
  1. To assess and identify patient and family caregivers’ quality of life concerns and needs from perioperative/postoperative care and through long-term survivorship
  2. To develop and test innovative, telehealth/technology-driven interventions to improve patient/family centered outcomes. 


City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center, 1500 East Duarte Road

Duarte, CA 91010

  1. Deutsch GB, Deneve JL, Al-Kasspooles MF, Nfonsam VN, Gunderson CC, Secord AA, Rodgers P, Hendren S, Silberfein EJ, Grant M, Sloan J, Sun V, Arnold KB, Anderson GL, Krouse RS. Intellectual equipoise and challenges: Accruing patients with advanced cancer to a trial randomizing to surgical or nonsurgical management (SWOG S1316). The American Journal of Hospice & Palliative Care. 2020;37:12-18
  2. Sun V, Bojorquez O, Grant M, Wendel CS, Weinstein R, Krouse RS. Cancer survivors’ challenges with ostomy appliances and self-management: A qualitative analysis. Supportive Care in Cancer. 2019; DOI 10.1007/s00520-019-05156-7
  3. Blakely A, Chanson D, Wong L, Eng OS, Sentovich S, Melstrom KA, Lai L, Fong Y, Sun V. Health-related quality of life and oncologic outcomes after surgery in older adults with colorectal cancer. Supportive Care in Cancer. 2019; DOI 10.1007/s00520-019-05087-3
  4. Sun V, Raz DJ, Kim JY, Melstrom L, Hite S, Varatkar G, Fong Y. Barriers and facilitators of adherence to a perioperative physical activity intervention for older adults with cancer and their family caregivers. Journal of Geriatric Oncology. 2019;
  5. Rosenzweig MQ, Bailey DE, Bush NJ, Coombs LA, Lehto RH, Loerzel V, Sun V, Mooney K, Cooley ME. Mentorship for nurse scientists: Strategies for growth from the oncology nursing society research mentorship task force. Oncology Nursing Forum. 2019;46:769-774.
  6. Sun V, Raz DJ, Erhunmwunsee L, Ruel N, Carranza J, Prieto R, Ferrell B, Krouse RS, McCorkle R, Kim JY. Improving family caregiver and patient outcomes in lung cancer surgery: Study protocol for a randomized trial of the multimedia self-management intervention. Contemporary Clinical Trials. 2019;83:88-96. PMCID: PMC6661176
  7. Sun V, Wendel CS, Demark-Wahnefried W, Grant M, McMullen CK, Bulkley JE, Herrinton LJ, Hornbrook MC, Krouse RS. Diet and behavior modifications by long-term rectal cancer survivors to manage bowel dysfunction-associated symptoms. Nutrition and Cancer. 2019;71:89-99. PMCID: PMC6456395
  8. Eng OS, Kim JY, Ruel N, Raz DJ, Erhunmwunsee L, Melstrom L, Chao J, Yoo Y, Kim J, Sun V. Quality of Life, Symptoms, and Self-Management Strategies After Gastroesophageal Cancer Surgery. Journal of Pain and Symptom Management. 2018;56(2):e4-e8. PMCID: PMC6659401
  9. Sun V, Crane TE, Slack SD, Yung A, Wright S, Sentovich S, Melstrom K, Fakih M, Krouse RS, Thomson CA. Rationale, development, and design of the altering intake, managing symptoms (AIMS) dietary intervention for bowel dysfunction in rectal cancer survivors. Contemporary Clinical Trials. 2018;68:61-66. PMCID: PMC5899669
  10. Sun V, Ercolano E, McCorkle R, Grant M, Wendel CS, Tallman NJ, Passero F, Raza S, Cidav Z, Holcomb M, Weinstein RS, Hornbrook MC, Krouse RS. Ostomy telehealth for cancer survivors: Design of the Ostomy Self-management Training (OSMT) randomized trial. Contemporary Clinical Trials. 2018;64:167-172. PMCID: PMC6252251
  11. Reb A, Ruel N, Fakih M, Lai L, Salgia R, Ferrell B, Sampath S, Kim JY, Raz D, Sun V. Empowering survivors after colorectal and lung cancer treatment: Pilot study of a self-management survivorship care planning intervention. European Journal of Oncology Nursing. 2017;29:125-134. PMCID: PMC5539921
  12. Sun V, Dumitra S, Ruel N, Lee B, Melstrom L, Melstrom K, Woo Y, Sentovich S, Singh G, Fong Y. Wireless monitoring program of patient-centered outcomes and recovery after major abdominal surgery. JAMA Surgery. 2017;152(9):852-859. PMCID: PMC5607084
  13. Sun V, Raz DJ, Ruel N, Chang W, Erhunmwunsee L, Reckamp K, Tiep B, Ferrell B, McCorkle R, Kim JY. A multimedia self-management intervention to prepare cancer patients and family caregivers for lung surgery and postoperative recovery. Clinical Lung Cancer. 2017;18(3):e151-e159. PMCID: PMC5413411
  14. Sun V, Grant M, Wendel CS, McMullen CK, Bulkley JE, Herrinton LJ, Hornbrook MC, Krouse RS. Sexual function and health-related quality of life in long-term rectal cancer survivors. Journal of Sexual Medicine. 2016; 13(7):1071-1079. PMCID: PMC4916495
  15. McMullen CK, Bulkley JE, Altschuler A, Wendel CS, Grant M, Hornbrook MC, Sun V, Krouse RS. Greatest challenges of rectal cancer survivors: Results of a population-based survey. Diseases of the Colon and Rectum. 2016;59:1019-1027. PMCID: PMC5226258
  16. Kim JY, Sun V, Raz DJ, Williams AC, Fujinami R, Reckamp K, Koczywas M, Cristea M, Hurria A, Ferrell B. The impact of lung cancer surgery on quality of life trajectories in patients and family caregivers. Lung Cancer. 2016;101:35-39. PMCID: PMC5123701
  17. Sun V, Grant M, Wendel CS, McMullen CK, Bulkley JE, Altschuler A, Ramirez M, Baldwin CM, Herrinton LJ, Hornbrook MC, Krouse RSK. Dietary and behavioral adjustments to manage bowel dysfunction following surgery in long-term colorectal cancer survivors. Annals of Surgical Oncology. 2015; 22(13):4317-4324. PMCID: PMC4644686
  18. Sun V, Grant M, Fujinami R, Del Ferraro C, Borneman T, Koczywas M, Freeman B, Zachariah F, Uman G, Ferrell B. Effectiveness of an interdisciplinary palliative care intervention for family caregivers in lung cancer. Cancer. 2015; 121(20): 3737-3745. PMCID: PMC4592403
  19. Fujinami R, Sun V, Zachariah F, Uman G, Grant M, Ferrell B. Family caregivers' distress levels related to quality of life, burden, and preparedness. Psychooncology. 2015; 24(1):54-62. PMCID: PMC4216636

Full list of Publications

In The News
An Expert's Voice
Virginia Sun

Groundbreaking $2 million study will focus on family caregivers

breakthroughs - Virgina Sun

‘Prehab’ to Rehab: New Program Gets Older Patients and Their Caregivers Up and Active


City of Hope Researcher Tracks Surgery Patients Via Fitbit in New Study