After Treatment: The Needs of Cancer Survivors
A new report by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) concludes that a growing number of cancer patients are surviving the disease only to face a constellation of new needs and that too often these needs are not met. The 500-page report, based on an extensive review of the scientific literature and interviews with survivors, proposes recommendations for improving the care and quality of life for these individuals.
A primary recommendation is that all cancer patients be given summaries of their medical treatments and instructions for follow-up care once they complete therapy. These survivor care plans would document which treatments a patient had and which health changes should be monitored closely.
"A care plan is a concrete step that could be taken tomorrow and would provide relief essentially immediately," says Dr. Sheldon Greenfield, who directs the Center for Health Policy Research at the University of California, Irvine, and co-led the panel that produced the report, From Cancer Patient to Cancer Survivor: Lost in Transition. Read more
Guest Update by Dr. Ernie Hawk
TRWG Process Moving Forward, Members Named
Since being named by Dr. von Eschenbach earlier this year to chair the Translational Research Working Group (TRWG), I have come to more fully appreciate the potential of the working group to influence how we approach translational research. We will evaluate the translational research components of the National Cancer Institute's (NCI's) current portfolio and provide a blueprint for how best to harness our translational research resources. Our goal is to ensure that the processes and programs are in place at NCI to rapidly translate the scientific discoveries of the cancer community's many dedicated scientists into new interventions for preventing, diagnosing, and treating cancer.
There will be broad public input into the TRWG deliberations, including participation in the working group by many of the country's leading translational researchers, as well as representatives from the advocacy community, industry, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and NCI staff. In fact, the complete 60-member TRWG roster is now available on the working group's Web site at www.cancer.gov/trwg.
In naming the members, I worked with the TRWG co-chairs, Drs. Lynn Matrisian and William G. Nelson, to select as representative a group as possible, while still ensuring it was of a manageable size.