SOURCE: Lance Armstrong Foundation

December 16, 2008 14:27 ET

Lance Armstrong Foundation Awards Nearly $2 Million With 11 Grants to Leading Research Institutions in the U.S. and Australia

Grantees Are From Los Angeles, CA; Storrs, CT; Washington, DC; Indianapolis, IN; Boston, MA; Bozeman, MT; New York, NY; Columbus, OH and Sydney, Australia

AUSTIN, TX--(Marketwire - December 16, 2008) - Today the Lance Armstrong Foundation (LAF) awarded nearly $2 million with 11 grants to leading research institutions in the U.S. and Australia. The 2008 research grantees represent City of Hope (Duarte, CA); University of California at Los Angeles (Los Angeles, CA); University of Connecticut (Storrs, CT); Georgetown University (Washington, DC); Veterans Affairs Medical Center (VAMC) and Indiana University (Indianapolis, IN); Montana State University (Bozeman, MT); Massachusetts General Hospital (Boston, MA); Columbia University (New York, NY); Ohio State University (Columbus, OH); and the University of Sydney (Sydney, Australia). The Foundation, which has invested $21 million in research grants in its 10-year history, aims to fund research that meets the needs of underserved populations and encourages and supports the efforts of both established professionals in the field and young investigators in the early stages of their research careers.

"The LAF is proud of the role it plays in advancing the field of survivorship research," said Andy Miller, LAF Vice President of Programs and Policy. "Through this work, the LAF has the opportunity to address the gaps between what is known and what is done to address the needs of people affected by cancer."

The 2008 research grantees are addressing key recommendations from the "National Action Plan on Cancer Survivorship" and the reports of the "Adolescent and Young Adult Oncology Progress Review Group." These grants focus on areas of need in cancer survivorship that will build on the body of knowledge and services focused on access to quality survivor care and services, adolescent and young adult health-related quality of life assessment and cost effectiveness of preventative survivorship interventions. Additionally, through co-sponsorship with the National Lung Cancer Partnership, new knowledge will be gained in the area of lung cancer survivorship. (Please see below for more information about the grantees.)

About the Lance Armstrong Foundation

At the Lance Armstrong Foundation, we fight for the more than 25 million people around the world living with cancer today. There can be -- and should be -- life after cancer for more people. That's why we kick in at the moment of diagnosis, giving people the resources and support they need to fight cancer head-on. We find innovative ways to raise awareness, fund research and end the stigma about cancer that many survivors face. We connect people and communities to drive social change, and we call for state, national and world leaders to help fight this disease. Anyone, anywhere can join our fight against cancer. Join us at LIVESTRONG.org.

                          2008 Research Grantees

                          YOUNG INVESTIGATORS (6)
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Access to Quality             Georgetown University (Washington, DC)
Survivor Care and Services    "Factors Affecting Mammography Use in Chinese
                               Breast Cancer Survivors"
                              Asian-American breast cancer survivors have a
                              lower rate of participation in surveillance
                              mammography than their non-Hispanic white
                              counterparts. Since women previously
                              diagnosed with breast cancer are at
                              substantial risk for recurrence, compliance
                              with annual surveillance mammography is
                              critical. This study aims to identify the
                              sociocultural and psychological factors that
                              account for Chinese-American breast cancer
                              survivors' utilization of recommended
                              mammography screening.  These findings will
                              be used to design interventions to improve
                              mammography screening in this survivor
                              population.
                              ---------------------------------------------
                              Montana State University (Bozeman, MT)
                              "End-of-Life Decision Making and Quality Care
                               for American Indians"
                              The cancer burden among American Indian
                              populations is significantly higher compared
                              to whites with respect to both incidence and
                              mortality.  This study aims to significantly
                              improve end-of-life care for American Indian
                              cancer patients by employing a
                              community-based approach to identify key
                              cultural values and factors influencing
                              end-of-life care.  These findings will be
                              used to design and test the effectiveness of
                              a culturally-specific intervention to improve
                              end-of-life care for the American Indian
                              population.
                              ---------------------------------------------
                              Columbia University (New York, NY)
                              "Fundamental Causes of Social Disparities in
                               Cancer Survival"
                              In the last several decades, remarkable
                              improvements in cancer survival have been
                              made through advances in early detection and
                              treatment.  However, not all segments of the
                              population have benefitted equally; the
                              burden of cancer is disproportionately borne
                              by socially disadvantaged racial and ethnic
                              minorities and those with low socioeconomic
                              status. This study aims to explain why social
                              disparities in cancer emerge, endure or
                              change, with the goal of informing public
                              health policy and practice in order to reduce
                              and prevent disparities in access to cancer
                              care.
                              ---------------------------------------------
Cost Effectiveness of         City of Hope (Duarte, CA)
Preventative Survivorship     "Cost Effectiveness of Cardiac Guidelines for
Interventions                  Survivors of Pediatric Cancers"
                              Studies show that childhood cancer survivors
                              are at risk for developing cardiac problems
                              because of their exposure to chest radiation
                              and certain types of chemotherapy.  Although
                              several sets of guidelines have been proposed
                              for screening childhood cancer survivors for
                              heart problems, it is not clear which of
                              these guidelines are the most effective
                              relative to cost. Overly aggressive
                              screening approaches have the potential to
                              put undue burden on both survivors and the
                              healthcare system. This study aims to
                              identify the cost effectiveness of one of the
                              most comprehensive and widely accepted set of
                              screening guidelines for identifying cardiac
                              problems among the childhood cancer survivor
                              population.
                              ---------------------------------------------
Adolescent and Young Adult    University of California at Los Angeles (Los
Health-Related Quality of      Angeles, CA)
Life Assessment               "Health-Related Quality of Life in Young Men
                               with Testicular Cancer"
                              Testicular cancer is the post prevalent
                              cancer among men in late adolescence and
                              early adulthood, and its diagnosis can have
                              a significant impact on quality of life.
                              However, there is currently a lack of valid
                              and reliable tools to assess health-related
                              quality of life in this population. This
                              study aims to fill that gap by developing
                              and testing a health-related quality of life
                              assessment tool for adolescents and young
                              adults diagnosed with testicular cancer.
                              ---------------------------------------------
Lung Cancer Survivorship      University of Sydney (Sydney, Australia)
                              "The Impact of Physical Activity on Quality
                               of Life in Lung Cancer Patients"
                              The majority of lung cancer patients are
                              diagnosed with advanced disease where the
                              current aims of treatment are to prolong
                              survival and improve quality of life, rather
                              than cure. Fatigue, breathing problems and
                              insomnia can significantly impact quality of
                              life for patients diagnosed with this
                              disease. This study aims to determine if a
                              physical activity intervention will help
                              improve fatigue and quality of life for
                              advanced-stage lung cancer patients.

                    ESTABLISHED RESEARCH PROFESSIONALS (5)
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Access to Quality             Indianapolis VA and Indiana University
Survivor Care and Services     (Indianapolis, IN)
                              "Disparities in Access to Cancer Follow-up
                               Care and Personal Health Records"
                              Studies show that large disparities exist in
                              follow-up care among cancer survivors,
                              especially among rural, low socioeconomic and
                              other vulnerable survivor populations. This
                              study aims to develop a web-based treatment
                              summary and survivorship care plan for
                              survivors of colorectal cancer to improve
                              follow-up care outcomes and reduce
                              disparities.
                              ---------------------------------------------
                              Massachusetts General Hospital (Boston, MA)
                              "Are Adult Survivors of Childhood Cancer
                               Underinsured?"
                              Childhood cancer survivors who reach
                              adulthood are vulnerable to continued medical
                              problems, employment discrimination and lack
                              of health insurance coverage.  Previous
                              studies have shown that these survivors are
                              vulnerable to being uninsured, but simply
                              looking at the rate of coverage is only part
                              of the picture. What is unknown is whether
                              childhood cancer survivors who have health
                              insurance coverage have adequate access to
                              care. This study will comprehensively examine
                              underinsurance among this vulnerable survivor
                              population to ultimately inform policy
                              changes to improve access to care.
                              ---------------------------------------------
                              Ohio State University (Columbus, OH)
                              "Developing a Communication Tool for
                               Appalachian Breast Cancer Survivors"
                              Rural, low-income populations in Appalachia
                              continue to experience significant barriers
                              to receiving effective, follow-up
                              survivorship care. This study aims to develop
                              and test a culturally-relevant communication
                              intervention delivered on a personal digital
                              assistant (PDA) to reduce disparities in
                              effective survivor care among Appalachian
                              breast cancer survivors.
                              ---------------------------------------------
Adolescent and Young Adult    University of Connecticut (Storrs, CT)
Health-Related Quality of     "Innovations in Assessing Quality of Life in
Life Assessment                Young Adult Cancer Survivors"
                              Cancer diagnosis and treatment during late
                              adolescence and young adulthood significantly
                              impacts health-related quality of life for
                              these survivors, yet current quality of life
                              measures lack a developmental perspective and
                              fail to assess domains that are important to
                              adolescence and young adults such as
                              education, career, romantic relationships,
                              independent functioning and worldview
                              development. This study aims to fill this gap
                              by developing and validating a health-related
                              quality of life assessment tool specific to
                              adolescents and young adults.  Such a tool
                              will facilitate efforts to improve
                              survivorship outcomes and provide important
                              new insights into the impact of cancer on
                              this population.
                              ---------------------------------------------
                              Massachusetts General Hospital (Boston, MA)
                              "Assessing Quality of Life for Adolescent and
                               Young Adult Survivors"
                              Brain and spinal cord tumors are among the
                              most commonly diagnosed cancers in
                              adolescents and young adults and such a
                              diagnosis can significantly impact quality of
                              life. However, there are currently no valid
                              and reliable measurement tools to assess
                              health-related quality of life in adolescent
                              and young adult survivors of these tumors.
                              This study aims to fill this gap by creating
                              and testing an adolescent and young
                              adult-specific quality of life assessment
                              tool specific to central nervous system
                              tumors.

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