Phyllis F. Cantor Center for Research in Nursing and Patient Care Services awarded two major research grants

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  • AACR funds a digitally enhanced smoking cessation intervention
  • NIH funds study into chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy

Nurse-scientists from the Phyllis F. Cantor Center for Research in Nursing and Patient Care Services at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute received more than $1.3 million dollars in funding for two separate research projects.

The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) announced that in partnership with the Lung Cancer Initiative at Johnson & Johnson (LCI) it will award $1 million dollars to a multi-institutional team focused on developing digital tools to engage high-risk smokers in an innovative smoking cessation program designed to encourage behaviors that promote lung health.

This team project is co-led by Dana-Farber nurse-scientist Mary E. Cooley, PhD, RN, FAAN, whose research arose out of her experience as an advanced practice nurse working as part of a multidisciplinary team focused on treating and supporting lung cancer patients and their families. “Smoking cessation, even after the diagnosis of lung cancer, is essential to improving clinical outcomes,” said Cooley. “Our hope is this program encourages behaviors that promote lung health and early lung cancer detection.” The other co-leaders are Peter Castaldi, MD, MSC, assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and Sun S. Kim, PhD, associate professor of nursing at the University of Massachusetts.

A separate research project recently received funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to study chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy. The study, led by Dana-Farber nurse-scientist Robert Knoerl, PhD, RN, looks at metabolomic and genetic markers of neuropathy in adolescents and young adults with cancer.

“Essentially there’s only one first-line treatment for neuropathy,” said Knoerl. “One reason for the lack of effective treatments is that we don’t understand the underlying causes of neuropathy. We hope with this study to identify potential biomarkers that can be targeted in the future.”

The mission of the Cantor Center is to reduce the burden of cancer through scholarly inquiry and rigorous research. The focus of the Center’s research is the patient/family experience of living with cancer, as well as survivorship issues post-treatment.

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