Patient Care

NCI Awards $3M Grant to Study Geriatric Oncology

Oct. 2, 2018
older woman with headscarf and someone's hands comforting on shoulders

The National Cancer Institute award $3 million to Supriya Mohile, M.D., for a collaborative, five-year research project stemming from the Beau Biden Cancer Moonshot initiative.

Mohile’s team at the Wilmot Cancer Institute and University of Rochester Medical Center will evaluate whether adverse symptoms reported by older patients with advanced cancer on a clinical trial are associated with discontinuing therapy, hospitalizations, early death, as well as the patient’s functional ability and quality of life. The study is important because 60 percent of all cancers and 70 percent of cancer deaths occur in older adults. In addition, a growing population of older patients remains underrepresented in research that sets standards of care for cancer – leading to disparities in health outcomes.

The NCI also awarded U01 funding to three additional projects at other national sites. The combined effort is anticipated to spark development of new methods for understanding treatment tolerability. Specifically, the NCI is interested in knowing if its “Patient Reported Outcomes” measurement system is effective. The Wilmot/URMC team includes investigators from biostatistics and data science, clinical trials, nursing, geriatric oncology, psychiatry, and cancer control. A patient representative also sits on the team.

Mohile is a nationally recognized geriatric oncology expert and the Philip and Marilyn Wehrheim Professor at Wilmot. She won the BJ Kennedy Award for Excellence in Geriatric Oncology last spring at the American Society of Clinical Oncology annual meeting.