Cancer Survivor Research

Through discovery, innovation and collaboration, researchers at the Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders Center of Children's Healthcare of Atlanta are searching for ways to improve the outcomes and quality of life for survivors of childhood cancer.

Current Research

Current grant-funded research underway at the Aflac Cancer Center Survivorship Program includes:

  • Education and health promotion for survivors of childhood cancer
    • Agency for Health Care Research and Quality: this project built SurvivorLink, an IT system designed to support pediatric cancer survivor care throughout Georgia and provide educational materials to improve awareness of survivorship issues and best practices in survivor care.
    • Lance Armstrong Foundation: this project aims to increase awareness and knowledge in Georgia's healthcare professionals of the need for specialized, life-long follow-up care of childhood cancer survivors through two educational venues.
    • Dudley Moore Nursing and Allied Health Research Fund: this grant will evaluate the education given to new childhood cancer survivors by identifying areas where there is a lack of knowledge and recognize topics that need further education and emphasis among cancer survivors.
  • Health status and quality of life among adolescent and young adult cancer survivors
    • Emory Seed Grant: this grant established the Childhood, Adolescent and Young Adult Cancer Survivor (CAYACS) study that developed an ethically diverse, prospective cohort of childhood, adolescent and young adult cancer survivors.
    • Lance Armstong Foundation Community Participatory Research Grant: this grant established a community partnership between Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, CSP and several community groups to identify and contact more than 1,300 adolescent and young adult cancer survivors, including those lost to long-term follow-up.
  • Specific issues in cancer survivors
    • Childhood Cancer Survivor Study (CCSS) - NCI funded: phase I study
    • Lance Armstrong Foundation Grant: testicular and sexual dysfunction in adult survivors of childhood cancer

Clinical Research

  • Health related outcomes
    • Research methodology and statistical applications around clinical outcomes research
    • Investigation of late effects of therapy of childhood and adolescent cancer
      • Testicular and sexual function
      • Non-melanoma skin cancer
      • Genetics of skin cancer
      • GH and second CNS neoplasms
      • Low BMI
    • Improve screening and treatment for late effects
    • Better understand the endocrine and non-endocrine late effects experienced by brain tumor patients
  • Communication—health risk
    • Study effective communication and intervention strategies to increase quality of life and reduce morbidity and mortality in childhood and adolescent cancer survivors
  • Health services research—barriers

Clinical Researchers


Basic Research

  • Epigenetic/predictive health
  • Polymorphism/ovarian reserve
  • Polymorphisms/cardiac outcomes

Translational Research  

  • Stress ECHO—cardiac outcomes
  • AntiMullerian hormone—ovarian reserve

Recent Publications

  • Bhatti P, Veiga LH, Ronckers CM, Sigurdson AJ, Stovall M, Smith SA, Weathers R, Leisenring W, Mertens AC, Hammond S, Friedman DL, Neglia JP, Meadows AT, Donaldson SS, Sklar CA, Robison LL, Inskip PD. Risk of second primary thyroid cancer after radiotherapy for a childhood cancer in a large cohort study: an update from the childhood cancer survivor study. Radiat Res. 2010;174:741-52.
  • Friedman DL, Whitton J, Leisenring W, Mertens AC, Hammond S, Stovall M, Donaldson SS, Meadows AT, Robison LL, Neglia JP: Subsequent neoplasms in 5-year survivors of childhood cancer: the Childhood Cancer Survivor Study. J Natl Cancer Inst  2010;102:1083-95.
  • Green DM, Kawashima T, Stovall M, Leisenring W, Sklar CA, Mertens AC, Donaldson SS, Byrne J, Robison LL.  Fertility of Male Survivors of Childhood Cancer: A Report from the Childhood Cancer Survivor Study.  J Clin Oncol.  2010;28: 332-339. 
  • Kahalley LS, Robinson LA, Tyc VL, Hudson MM, Leisenring W, Stratton K, Zeltzer L,  Mertens AC, Robison LL, Hinds PS.  Attentional and Executive Dysfunction as Predictors of Smoking within the Childhood Cancer Survivor Study Cohort. Nicotine & Tobacco Research.  2010;12:344-54.
  • Krull KR, Huang S, Gurney JG, Klosky JL, Leisenring W, Termuhlen A, Ness KK, Kumar Srivastava D, Mertens A, Stovall M, Robison LL, Hudson MM. Adolescent behavior and adult health status in childhood cancer survivors. J Cancer Surviv.  2010;4: 210-7. 
  • Lansdale M, Castellino S, Marina N, Goodman P, Hudson MM, Mertens AC, Smith SM, Leisenring W, Robison LL, Oeffinger KC. Knowledge of Hepatitis C Virus Screening in Long-Term Pediatric Cancer Survivors: A Report from the Childhood Cancer Survivor Study. Cancer.  2010;116(4):974-82.
  • Meacham LR, Chow EJ, Kamdar KY, Ness, KK, Chen Y, Yasui Y, Oeffinger KC, Sklar CA, Robison LL and Mertens AC. Cardiovascular Risk Factors in Adult Survivors of Pediatric Cancer-a report from the Childhood Cancer Survivor Study.  Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers and Pre.  2010 ;1:170-81.
  • Ness KK, Li C, Mitby PA, Radloff GA, Mertens AC, Davies SM, Hammond S, Armstrong GT, Robison LL. Characteristics of responders to a request for a buccal cell specimen among survivors of childhood cancer and their siblings. Pediatr Blood Cancer.  2010;55:165-70.
  • Smith SM, Ford JS, Rakowski W, Moskowitz CS, Diller LR, Hudson MM, Mertens AC, Stanton AL, Henderson TO, Leisenring WM, Robison LL, Oeffinger KC. Inconsistent Mammography Perceptions and Practices Among Women at Risk of Breast Cancer Following a Pediatric Malignancy: A Report from the Childhood Cancer Survivor Study. Cancer Causes Control.  2010;21:1585-95.
  • Signorello LB, Mulvihill JJ, Green DM, Munro HM, Stovall M, Weathers RE, Mertens AC, Whitton JA, Robison LL, Boice JD Jr. Stillbirth and neonatal death in relation to radiation exposure before conception: a retrospective cohort study. Lancet.  2010;376:624-30.
  • Stuber ML, Meeske KA, Krull KA, Leisenring W, Stratton K, Huber M, Zebrack B, Uijtdehaage SH, Mertens AC, Robison LL, Zeltzer LK. Prevalence and Predictors of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in Adult Survivors of Childhood Cancer: a report from the Childhood Cancer Survivor Study.  Pediatrics.  2010;125:e1124-34.
  • Wasilewski-Masker K, Patterson B, Mertens AC, Meacham LR. Severity of Health Conditions Identified by Applying Long-Term Follow-Up Guidelines in a Cancer Survivor Program. Pediatr Blood Cancer. 2010;54:976-82. 
  • Whelan KF. Stratton K. Kawashima T. Waterbor JW. Castleberry RP. Stovall M. Sklar CA. Packer RJ. Mitby P. Aitken CL. Blatt J. Robison LL. Mertens AC. Ocular late effects in childhood and adolescent cancer survivors: a report from the childhood cancer survivor study. Pediatr Blood Cancer.   2010;54:103-9.
  • Yeh JM, Nekhlyudov L, Goldie SJ, Mertens AC, Diller L. A Model-Based Estimate of Cumulative Excess Mortality in Survivors of Childhood Cancer.  Ann Intern Med. 2010;152:409-417.

Research Collaborations