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Cancer Research

Cancer affects virtually everyone – through taking actions to prevent cancer, undergoing cancer screening, being treated for a diagnosed cancer, taking care of a loved one who has cancer, experiencing the effects of cancer survivorship, or losing someone to cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, there were nearly 14 million Americans with a history of cancer alive in 2012. They estimate that 1,660,290 new cases will be diagnosed and that 580,350 Americans will die of cancer in 2013, making cancer the second leading cause of death. The estimated overall costs for cancer in 2010 were $263.8 billion, including $102.8 billion for direct medical costs, $20.9 billion in costs of lost productivity due to illness, and $140.1 billion in costs of lost productivity due to death. 

As alluded to above, there is an entire continuum of care associated with cancer, including prevention, screening, diagnosis, treatment, survivorship, recurrence, and end-of-life. Here at Hopkins GIM, researchers are investigating issues all across the cancer continuum. Through collaborations with our colleagues in the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins, the Bloomberg School of Public Health, and across the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, we are investigating questions related to challenges such as determining the appropriate populations to target for genetic testing, addressing the health-related quality of life and supportive care needs of patients undergoing treatment, determining appropriate follow-up care for cancer survivors, and ensuring quality palliative care for patients at the end of life.

One of GIM's intramural collaborations is with the Cancer Outcomes & Health Services Research Interest Group, which was formed in 2006 to connect researchers across the schools of medicine, nursing, and public health working in the area of cancer outcomes and health services research. The purpose of the interest group is to (1) identify who is doing research related to cancer outcomes and health services research; (2) learn about ongoing and planned research projects; (3) discuss opportunities for collaboration; and (4) begin developing an infrastructure to support this area of research. The Interest Group has over 100 members and meets monthly for a formal presentation and group discussion. The Interest Group is sponsored by the Cancer Center, the School of Medicine’s Vice Dean for Clinical Investigation, and the Division of General Internal Medicine and is chaired by Craig Pollack, MD, MHS, and Antonio Wolff, MD.

Information about the faculty working in cancer research and their projects is provided below.

Zackary Berger, MD, PhD
Assistant Professor of Medicine/GIM
Core Faculty member, Evidence-based Practice Center
Joint Appointment in Health, Behavior and Society
Research Interests: Patient-provider communication, bioethics, clinical epidemiology, and the primary care physician’s role in cancer control

Jeanne M. Clark, MD, MPH, FACP
Frederick Brancati, MD Professor of Medicine
Joint Appointment in Epidemiology
Director, Division of General Internal Medicine
Core Faculty, Welch Center for Prevention, Epidemiology, and Clinical Research   

Research Interests:  Obesity and diabetes and risk of and screening for related cancers, cancer screening behaviors in obese individuals, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease and risk of and screening for hepatocellular carcinoma
To see publication abstracts: PUBMED

Sydney Dy, MD, MSc
Associate Professor, Health Policy & Management, Oncology, and Medicine 
Director of Research Operations, Duffey Pain and Palliative Care Program, Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center
Research Interests: Quality of cancer care, palliative care, physician-patient decision-making, cancer health services research
To see publication abstracts: PUBMED

Daniel Ford, MD, MPH
Professor of Medicine, Psychiatry and Behavioral SciencesEpidemiology and Health Policy and Management
Vice Dean for Clinical Investigation, School of Medicine
Core Faculty, Welch Center for Prevention, Epidemiology, and Clinical Research
Research Interests: smoking cessation, tobacco control, and epidemiology of smoking-related cancers
To see publication abstracts: PUBMED

Gail Geller, ScD, MHS  
Professor of Medicine, PediatricsHealth, Behavior and Society, and Health Policy and Management
Core Faculty, Berman Institute of Bioethics
Research Interests: Informed consent, physician-patient communication and decision-making under conditions of uncertainty, ethical and psychosocial issues in cancer genetics, end-of-life care, provider well-being, research ethics, complementary and alternative medicine, qualitative research methods
To see publication abstracts: PUBMED

Kimberly Peairs, MD
Assistant Professor of Medicine
Medical Director, GIM at Greenspring Station   
Research Interests: Internal medicine, women's health, cancer
To see publication abstracts: PUBMED   

Craig Pollack, MD, MPH, MS
Assistant Professor of Medicine
Co-Director, GIM Fellowship Program
Research interests: Cancer disparities, organization of cancer care, social determinants of health
To see publication abstracts: PUBMED

Thomas J. Smith, MD
Professor of Oncology
The Harry J. Duffey Family Professor of Palliative Medicine
Director of Palliative Medicine
Research interests: Palliative care
To see publication abstracts: PUBMED

Claire Snyder, PhD, MHS
Associate Professor of Medicine and Oncology
Joint Appointment in Health Policy and Management
Member, Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins
Co-Chair, Cancer Outcomes & Health Services Research Interest Group

Member, Center for Health Services and Outcomes Research
Research interests: Quality of life, patient reported outcomes, health services research
To see publications abstracts:  PUBMED

Jessica Yeh, PhD
Associate Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology
Core Faculty, Welch Center for Prevention, Epidemiology and Clinical Research
Research Interests: Methods in epidemiology and controlled trials, clinical research mentorship, diabetes and novel complications, obesity
To see publication abstracts: PUBMED

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