Cancer Control & Survivorship
Wilmot has one of the oldest and highly regarded research programs in this field, continuously funded since 1983.
We’ve been national leaders in studying treatment toxicities, side effects, and overall health as patients strive to move past cancer. Our investigators look at the management of sleep disorders, nausea and other persistent side effects; the best ways to protect survivors from radiation-induced tissue damage and the risks of second cancers; as well as post-treatment memory loss and fogginess, or chemo-brain.
For most of the past 40 years this type of research was known as Cancer Control. Going forward, however, we’re guided by a national priority to expand survivorship science. An important future initiative is to prevent and lessen the health problems that patients develop months or years after chemotherapy, radiation and targeted therapy—known as the late effects of treatment. Another goal is to be able to accurately calculate who is likely to benefit the most from treatment without being harmed. Risk estimates and prediction models, a cornerstone of personalized medicine, will become the norm as we study genetic factors, age, inflammation and other biological markers that influence cancer outcomes.
Patients are also interested in wellness, which is why we’re committed to studying the best use of exercise (such as yoga therapy), smoking cessation, and alternative medicine interventions that might help survivors live better, not just longer. Our PEAK Lab (Physical Exercise Activity Kinesiology Clinical Research Core) provides exercise stress testing and other services to patients while also supporting clinical trials in survivorship.
As many people know, cancer also comes with a psychological toll. So, for example, we’re studying how to help older adults and their families rationally discuss treatment options in a way that aligns with their values and wishes.
Wilmot’s survivorship research aims to improve the experience during every step of the journey.