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Helping Survivors of Childhood Cancer Quit Smoking

Name of the Trial

Efficacy of Tobacco Quitline for Childhood Cancer Survivors (XPD07-140). See the protocol summary.

Principal Investigator

Dr. Robert C. Klesges, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital

Why This Trial Is Important

Advances in treatment over the past 30 years have dramatically increased the survival rates for childhood cancers, and many children diagnosed with cancer now survive their disease well into adulthood. Unfortunately, treatments for childhood cancers often cause long-term health problems, leaving survivors more susceptible to cardiovascular, pulmonary, and other illnesses (including second cancers) than people in the general population.

Dr. Robert C. Klesges
Dr. Robert C. Klesges
Principal Investigator

Studies have shown that childhood cancer survivors are almost as likely to smoke as everyone else. Smoking greatly increases the risk of illness for these survivors, as it does for any smoker, but the effects of smoking combined with possible late-onset (delayed) adverse effects of cancer treatment make childhood cancer survivors a high-risk population. Therefore, it is vitally important for these survivors to refrain from smoking if they haven't started or to quit smoking if they have. Telephone "quitlines" have proven beneficial in helping smokers to quit and may be an effective tool for helping childhood cancer survivors who want to stop smoking.

In this study, adult survivors of childhood cancer who smoke and want to quit will be randomly assigned to one of two quitline-based strategies: counselor-initiated quitline consultations or self-paced quitline consultations. With the counselor-initiated strategy, smokers who enroll in the study will be called at predetermined intervals for six telephone sessions. Additionally, they will be given nicotine-replacement therapy for eight weeks (provided this is not medically contraindicated). Smokers assigned to the self-paced quitline consultations will initiate up to six counseling sessions themselves and will receive a two-week starter kit of nicotine-replacement therapy.

"We know that adults who have survived childhood cancer and who smoke are at great risk of harm and need help to quit," said Dr. Klesges. "People who enroll in this study will get an intervention that has proven effective in previous studies, regardless of their assigned strategy. The help is free and specifically tailored to the needs of survivors of childhood cancer."

For More Information

See the lists of entry criteria and trial contact information or call the St. Jude study Quitline at 1-877-4-SJ-QUIT. The toll-free call is confidential.


  • Posted: March 24, 2009