Patients and Survivors Program

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Director

Patricia Ganz, M.D.

Contact via email

Co-Director

Julienne Bower,Ph.D.

Contact via email

Overview

The Patients and Survivors Program investigates methods of measuring and improving quality of life and quality of cancer care. Its prevention and control research targets are patients receiving treatment for cancer and post-treatment cancer survivors. Research includes behavioral intervention research, assessment of quality of life and other health care outcomes, nutritional intervention research and symptom control research. Policy relevant research related to quality of care is also included.

Goals

  1. Reduce avoidable morbidity and mortality among patients with cancer and long-term survivors of cancer
  2. Understand and improve quality of life outcomes along the developmental phases of the life span continuum (e.g., infants, children, young adult survivors, adult cancer patients and survivors and elderly cancer patients and survivors), including late medical and psychosocial effects
  3. Develop and improve methods of measuring and evaluating the quality of cancer care

Meetings and Events

  • Monthly research conferences and brown bag seminars in collaboration with the School of Public Health
  • Postdoctoral fellows’ journal club
  • Research-in-progress meetings with fellows
  • Monthly tea for program area members and staff with UCLA Center for Cancer Prevention and Control Research
  • Regular meetings on psychoneuroimmunology and cancer for investigators to present their work in progress
  • Focused retreats on interdisciplinary and translational topics with other cancer center programs

Leadership

Patricia A. Ganz, M.D., director of the Patient and Survivors Program, is a board-certified medical oncologist who has been conducting psychosocial and quality of life research with cancer patients and survivors since the early 1980s. Ganz holds professorial appointments in the School of Public Health (Health Policy & Management) and the School of Medicine (Medicine/Hematology-Oncology). Ganz is a pioneer in the assessment of quality of life in cancer patients, and is active in clinical trials research with the NRG Oncology, where she co-chairs the Patient Centered Outcomes Research committee. She has focused much of her clinical and research efforts in the areas of breast cancer and its prevention. She also directs the UCLA Clinical Cancer Genetic Evaluation Program. Her other major areas of research include cancer survivorship and late effects of cancer treatment, cancer in the elderly and quality of care for cancer patients. She is Deputy Editor of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute and Associate Editor of CA-A Journal for Clinicians. Dr. Ganz was elected to the Institute of Medicine in 2007, and received the American Cancer Society Medal of Honor in 2010. She served on the National Cancer Institute Board of Scientific Advisors from 2002-2007 and on the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Board of Directors from 2003-2006. Dr. Ganz currently serves as Vice Chair of the Institute of Medicine National Cancer Policy Forum and chaired the 2013 Institute of Medicine consensus study whose report was entitled “Delivering High Quality Cancer Care: Charting a New Course for a System in Crisis.”

Co-director Julienne Bower, Ph.D., is professor of Psychology and Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, and Research Scientist of the Cousins Center for Psychoneuroimmunology at the UCLA Semel Institute for Neuroscience. Bower’s research is focused on understanding the biobehavioral mechanisms underlying fatigue and other behavioral disturbances in cancer patients and survivors, and has done pioneering work on inflammation and cancer-related fatigue.  She is also actively involved in designing and conducting interventions for cancer patients and survivors, including trials of mind-body therapies.  In July 2016, Bower was appointed to the George F. Solomon Professorship of Psychobiology. In collaboration with the Norman Cousins Center for Psychoneuroimmunology at UCLA, she leads the effort to develop innovative programs in evidence-based behavioral approaches to prevent disease, promote healing and enhance overall well-being in patients and survivors of cancer.

Upcoming Events

The following list is for upcoming events and seminars of notable interest to the Patients and Survivors Program and its members. This calendar is updated automatically.

For a list of all upcoming JCCC events (including other research programs, patients and survivors, and the UCLA Jonsson Cancer Center Foundation), please visit the Events Calendar.

Insights into Cancer: The Healing Power of Hope and Forgiveness for Cancer Patients and the People Who Love Them

Once a month, the Simms/Mann–UCLA Center for Integrative Oncology presents Insights Into Cancer, a free public lecture series for cancer patients, their families and the community. Each lecture features a leading professional who provides up-to-date information, practical advice and answers to cancer-related questions.

June 13, 2017

The Healing Power of Hope and Forgiveness for Cancer Patients and the People Who Love Them

For cancer patients, whose world has been dramatically altered by often life-threatening diagnoses, there is much to hope for and much to forgive.  Patients hope for life, health and recovery, but often are confronted with endless challenges and threats to their identity and sense of comfort in this world.  Often, those closest to them fall away, not knowing what to say, or the patient themselves retreat, feeling suddenly “other” or not sure where they fit in their life as they knew it.  The feelings of hurt and the need to forgive often originate in the very moment they first hear the word “cancer”, but the deeply hurtful nature of these feelings are not always addressed.   We will explore the ways in which compassion and empathy lead to forgiveness, and how forgiveness helps heal the spirit and heart of those living with cancer and the people who love them.

Schedule
6:45 – 7:00: Arrival & Refreshments
7:00 – 7:15: Anne Coscarelli, Ph.D, Introduction to Center
7:15 – 7:20: Anne Coscarelli, Ph.D., Speaker Introduction
7:20 – 8:55: Speaker Presentation, Q&A
8:55 – 9:00: Closing

Lorelei Bonet, L.C.S.W., O.S.W.-C., is a Clinical Oncology Social Worker at the Simms/Mann-UCLA Center for Integrative Oncology where she provides psychosocial care to patients with cancer and the people who love them.  She has worked in chronic illness for twelve years, and in oncology specifically since 2008.  She also participates in the multi-disciplinary intern training program at the Center where she can share her passion with students of social work, psychology and chaplaincy.  Lorelei has presented at national conferences on different topics, including The Healing Power of Hope and Forgiveness and the development of a concept she calls “Psychosocial Ecotones."


Insights Into Cancer lectures are held in the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center Auditorium, B Level, Room B130, 757 Westwood Plaza, Los Angeles, CA 90095.

UCLA parking is $12 and is wheelchair accessible. Attendees can park in the medical plaza, or take advantage of the valet parking at the front of Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center.

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