Chapel Hill, NC - May 31, 2011 – The LIVESTRONG Survivorship Center of Excellence Network (Network) will host a landmark meeting on survivorship care, September 15-16, in Washington D.C. This meeting is in direct response to the findings from the 2011 LIVESTRONG report, “Defining Survivorship Care: Lessons Learned from the LIVESTRONG Survivorship Center of Excellence Network.” The report offers new insight into the challenges and opportunities that effect patient care and the advancement of the growing field of survivorship.
Survivorship is a relatively new focus within the field of oncology. With advances in treatment and medicine, more people are surviving cancer. As a result, there is an increasing need to learn more about the medical and non-medical concerns that affect this growing population such as fear of recurrence, grief and identity issues, fatigue, pain and difficulty concentrating.
“LIVESTRONG has been a strong advocate for incorporating survivorship into the continuum of cancer care,” said Doug Ulman, LIVESTRONG president and CEO. “Through the LIVESTRONG Center of Excellence Network, we are bringing together the nation’s leading cancer centers to share best practices, lessons learned and ensure that our collective knowledge will help improve care for cancer survivors everywhere.”
“There was no field of survivorship until Livestrong created it,” says Dr. Lawrence Shulman, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute’s Chief Medical Officer and Senior Vice President for Medical Affairs. “As oncologists, we were entirely focused on making the cancer go away. We weren’t looking at people’s long-term problems.” He adds, “It’s hard for me to think of another organization that has done things like this, so seriously, in an academic and scientific way.”
Through the September meeting, the Network seeks to partner with other key leaders in the field to further define survivorship care, under the leadership of the Essential Elements of Survivorship Care Advisory Committee and the Network Steering Committee. At the meeting, the Network will use the 2011 report as its catalyst to make practical suggestions about what elements of survivorship care are feasible to implement and how to overcome the challenges associated with implementation. A new, refined and more detailed list of strategies will be the intended outcome of this ambitious effort. The Network will also take into consideration the report’s recommendations to institutions seeking to integrate survivorship into current cancer programs, highlighting how patient needs are addressed and met throughout any new survivor care program.
This new report follows the 2006 Institute of Medicine (IOM) Report, “From Cancer Patient to Cancer Survivor: Lost in Transition” that made great advances in survivorship care by outlining high-level components of care that were yet untested including the:
- prevention of recurrent and new cancers
- surveillance for the spread of cancer, recurrence or second cancers
- intervention for the consequences of cancer and its treatment
- coordination between specialists and primary care providers to ensure that all of a survivor’s health needs are met
Over the past six years, the Network has dedicated itself to testing these elements on a large scale, in both community- and specialty-focused practices, to best develop a foundation on which future survivorship care programs should be built.
Marci Campbell, PhD, co-director of the UNC Lineberger’s COE, said, “These findings build on the tremendous work of LIVESTRONG and the Network and will make an impact on the expanding field of cancer survivorship. We are proud of UNC’s role in conducting much of the research behind this report. We hope that cancer centers and hospitals can incorporate these findings into their practices so that patients and caregivers can transition seamlessly from active treatment to find optimal survivorship programs and services to meet their needs. “
Founded in 2005, the Network was established to advance survivorship care and to improve the health and quality of life of cancer survivors. The Network is a group of National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated comprehensive cancer centers offering information, care and services to cancer survivors, their family members and health care providers. LIVESTRONG and the Network remain committed to addressing key issues in survivor care through continued research in the area of survivorship and ongoing medical community engagement to best serve the needs of cancer survivors. In line with this work, the Network will host a training for medical professionals on developing a survivorship program in October 2011 at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, Mass.
LIVESTRONG is the brand of the Lance Armstrong Foundation, created in 1997 by the cancer survivor and champion cyclist to serve people living with cancer and empower communities to take action.
The Network is comprised of eight NCI-designated cancer centers, including UNC Lineberger. Others in the Network include:
- Abramson Cancer Center, University of Pennsylvania
- Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
- Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
- Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center at UCLA
- Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
- The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute
- University of Colorado Cancer Center
The Network Steering Committee
- Marcia Grant, DNSc, RN, FAAN
- Mary Gullatte, PhD, RN, ANP, BC, AOCN, FAAN
- Alton Hart, MD, MPH
- Andy Miller, MHSE, CHES
- Margaret Kripke, PhD
- Guadalupe Palos, RN, LMSW, DrPH
- Angela Patterson
- Ruth Rechis, PhD
The Network’s Essential Elements of Survivorship Care Advisory Committee Members:
- Richard Carmona MD, MPH., FACS - U.S. Surgeon General, President of the Canyon Ranch Institute
- Robert T. Croyle, PhD - Director, Division of Cancer Control & Population Sciences, NCI
- Mitch Golant, PhD - Senior VP, Research & Training for Cancer Support Community
- Melissa Hudson, MD - Director, Cancer Survivorship Division; Co-Leader, Cancer Prevention & Control Program at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
- J. Leonard Lichtenfeld, MD, MACP - Deputy Chief Medical Officer of the American Cancer Society
- Diane Meier, MD, FACP - Director, Center to Advance Palliative Care; Director, Hertzberg Palliative Care Institute, Mount Sinai School of Medicine; Professor, Geriatrics and Internal Medicine, Mount Sinai School of Medicine
- Paula T. Reiger, RN, MSN, CAE, FAAN - Chief Executive Officer, Oncology Nursing Society
About LIVESTRONG/Lance Armstrong Foundation
LIVESTRONG serves people affected by cancer and empowers them to take action against the world's leading cause of death. Created as the Lance Armstrong Foundation in 1997 by cancer survivor and champion cyclist Lance Armstrong, the organization is now known publicly by its powerful brand -- LIVESTRONG -- and is a leader in the global movement on behalf of 28 million people around the world living with cancer today. Known for its iconic yellow wristband, LIVESTRONG has become a symbol of hope and inspiration to people affected by cancer around the world. Since its inception, the organization has raised more than $400 million for the fight against cancer. For more information, visit LIVESTRONG.org.