Apr 21, 2015 10:00 AM

Author: Cancer Learning Center

Have you ever wondered what research happens at Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) below the Point restaurant? Hundreds of researchers are working together every day to learn more about cancer and find better ways to support patients and families.

Cancer Control and Population Sciences (CCPS) is one of the research programs that is part of the fight. While some researchers at HCI study cells in the lab, CCPS investigators study people, behavior, and health care. Other CCPS members investigate cancer genetics. CCPS focuses specifically on cancer prevention, screening, early detection, survivorship, end-of-life care, and more.

Anne Kirchhoff, PhD, MPH, is one of those researchers. Kirchhoff is leading an initiative to focus on issues surrounding cancer survivorship, symptom management, and quality of life in Utah. The Kirchhoff Group is working on ways to improve resources for cancer survivors in the community.

Lauri Linder, PhD, APRN, CPON, also works with this initiative. Linder is an assistant professor at the University of Utah College of Nursing and an advanced practice nurse at Primary Children’s Hospital. Linder’s research interests focus on symptom management and new ways of using technology to help children, adolescents, and young adults with cancer report their symptoms.

The C-SCAT app for reporting symptoms

Linder and four other nurse researchers from across the United States developed an interactive iPad application called the Computerized Symptom Capture Tool (C-SCAT). The app helps adolescents and young adults with cancer report the symptoms they are experiencing. The more a doctor understands a patient’s symptoms, the more likely he or she can find the right treatment for those symptoms.

Linder plans to use the app in future studies. She is working on project funded by the National Institutes of Health to develop a technology-based symptom assessment tool for elementary school­–aged children with cancer. Along with fellow CCPS investigator Yelena Wu, PhD, Linder is looking at a smartphone-based medication reminder app for adolescents and young adults with cancer who are taking oral medications.

Kirchhoff, Linder, and their teams are part of the 40 researchers that contribute to CCPS research efforts at HCI. Their ultimate goal is to prevent cancer and help those with cancer live longer, better lives.

—Brynn Fowler, MPH

Cancer Learning Center

Huntsman Cancer Institute

cancer research

Sign Up for Weekly Health Updates

Get weekly emails of the latest news from HealthFeed.