UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center Magazine Fall 2015 - Page 16

quick takes RESE ARCH BRIEFS Novel Research Shows Social Factors May Impact Younger Leukemia Patients’ Survival quick takes NEWS & EVENTS BCRFA Hosts Endowment Reception A recent UAB study reveals that insurance status, marital status and county-level income may affect the chances of survival in young patients with acute myeloid leukemia. The findings, published online in the journal Cancer, indicate that additional efforts and resources are needed to address the social factors that impact critical aspects of health in these patients. “A cure is possible mostly for younger patients, but treatment is intense, often requiring a bone marrow transplant and using a lot of resources from the health care system, patients and families,” says Luciano Jose Costa, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor in the UAB Division of Hematology and Oncology. “We have made tremendous progress in understanding the biology of AML. But we need to pay the same attention to resources available to our patients as this greatly impacts their chances to survive their leukemia.” Investigators at UAB analyzed a database with 5,541 patients younger than the age of 65 to demonstrate that, in addition to age and disease characteristics, other “non-biological” patient characteristics matter in having a higher or lower chance of cure. The research showed that patients who were single or divorced, patients who were uninsured or were Medicaid beneficiaries, and patients who lived in areas with lower income had substantially higher risk of death. “We believe these three factors indicate lack of material and social support preventing young patients from successfully walking the long and difficult road toward cure,” says Uma Borate, M.D., assistant professor in the UAB Division of Hematology and Oncology and lead author of the study. Drs. Costa and Borate, also scientists at the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center, suggest that the findings show these factors, that are not necessarily related to care, can have significant impacts on AML patients’ outcomes. The UAB study is the largest to date to look at socioeconomic factors in outcomes of younger patients with AML. Local Family Makes Donation In June, the Breast Cancer Research Foundation of Alabama announced that it had raised enough money to fund the O’Neal-Sokol Breast Cancer Research Foundation of Alabama Endowed Chair, which will be held by renowned breast cancer specialist Andres Forero, M.D. The BCRFA hosted a reception at the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center to celebrate this achievement, which honors BCRFA co-founders Dolly O’Neal and Bruce Sokol as well as the foundation for all its accomplishments in the fight against breast cancer. The UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center’s Patient & Family Resource Center provides a comfortable place to find support. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with cancer, our staff can answer your questions about the illness, treatment options and available support services. This can include: n Cancer Prevention n Dealing with Side Effects n Clinical Trials Inaugural Cycliad a Success n Complementary Therapies The Cancer Center recently celebrated the success of its inaugural Cycliad event, which raised $409,000 for the center. Held over four weekends during spring 2015, Cycliad was a 1,300-mile bicycle challenge aimed at raising funds to support the patients and programs of the UAB Cancer Community Network, and the Patient Care Connect patient navigation program. The ride covered four states, culminating in a community event at Railroad Park in downtown Birmingham. n Stress Management n Spirituality n Support Groups & Oneon-One Support n Mindful Meditation n Restorative Yoga n Art Therapy Plans are underway for Cycliad 2016 – visit cycliad.org to learn more! PATIENT & FAMILY RESOURCE CENTER The Keller family of Scottsboro recently hosted a community festival to raise money for brain tumor research, after father and husband Anthony Keller passed away from the disease. Recently, the family visited the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center to present their donation of $7,000, all of which will go toward the Cancer Center’s internationally renowned neuro-oncology research program. Wallace Tumor Institute, Room 220 For more information, contact Teri Hoenemeyer, (205) 934-5772 tgw318@uab.edu Pictured, left to right: Brandi Keller, Jarrett Keller, Jaden Keller, Jaley Keller, Brenda Keller and Cancer Center neuro-oncologist Burt Nabors, M.D. 28 U A B C O M P R E H E N S I V E C A N C E R C E N T E R PATIENT AND FAMILY RESOURCE CENTER # K N O W U A B C C C • U A B . E D U / C A N C E R 29