UF Breast Cancer Research Team Receives the 2022 Conquer Cancer Foundation of ASCO Merit Award

UF Researchers Receive ASCO Merit AwardThe Conquer Cancer Foundation of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) has awarded a University of Florida team the 2022 Conquer Cancer Merit Award for their research abstract submitted to the ASCO Quality Care Symposium.

The Merit Award program was established in 1995 to recognize high quality abstracts submitted by oncology fellows and residents and encourage their attendance at ASCO meetings. This year’s Quality Care Symposium will take place September 30 to October 1, 2022, in Chicago, IL.

The abstract, titled, “Palliative care utilization and trends among patients with metastatic breast cancer: A SEER-Medicare analysis,” was also selected for poster presentation at the symposium. The team comprises UF Radiation Oncology physicians Fantine Giap, MD, Chief Resident; Associate Professor Julie Bradley, MD; and Assistant Professor Lola T. Oladeru, MD, MA, MBA; as well as Young-Rock Hong, PhD, MPH, Assistant Professor, Health Services Research, Management and Policy.

“I have been so grateful for the mentorship and support of our fantastic team of oncologists, health services researchers, and patient advocate who inspire me to continue identifying areas of improvement and implementing solutions to the delivery of quality care for our oncology patients,” said Dr. Giap, first author of the abstract.

Palliative care provides significant benefits for patients with advanced cancer diagnoses – including physical, emotional, and psychosocial support – and has a positive impact on short-term quality of life. While therapeutic research to prolong survival is critical, there is simultaneously a need to examine the delivery of palliative care for patients with metastatic breast cancer.

“An important finding of our research, which included over 11,000 women diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer above the age of 65, was suboptimal utilization of palliative care – 15.6% of our cohort – and a trend of geographic, age and income-based disparities was observed,” said Dr. Oladeru, senior author of the abstract. “Specifically, those who utilized palliative care were more likely to be younger, of low poverty rate, and reside in urban areas.”

The team analyzed SEER-Medicare data, a program of cancer registries that collects clinical, demographic and cause of death information for persons age 65 and above with cancer and subsequent Medicare claims for covered health care services.

Through Merit Awards, Conquer Cancer recognized several fellows in 2022 for their respective field and research advancements within the cancer care community.  Recipients receive complimentary meeting registration and a stipend of $1,000.

Learn more about the Conquer Cancer Foundation of ASCO Merit Award on the Conquer Cancer Foundation website.

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