Childhood cancer survivor grant allows HSC researchers to launch survivorship program

SAN ANTONIO, Texas (December 16, 2013) – While survival rates for adolescents and young adults with cancer have improved over the past two decades, those patients often develop health problems that are frequently not addressed because of a lack of both resources and awareness of their unique medical needs. This leads to inconsistent medical follow-up, low clinical trial enrollment, and delayed detection of sometimes dangerous health conditions.

UT Health Science Center researchers are changing that by developing a new survivorship program, and the St. Baldrick’s Foundation has awarded a one-year infrastructure grant of $50,000 to the Health Science Center to help kick-start it.

The UT Health Science Center’s AYA (Adolescent/Young Adult) Survivorship Program will help these patients and further the understanding of the health problems in this population.

By supporting a clinical coordinator for the clinic, this infrastructure grant will ensure accrual to open clinical trials and provide appropriate survivorship planning and research for these young people.

“This grant gives us some great resources to get headed in the right direction, and we’re very excited about it,” said Helen Parsons, Ph.D., M.P.H, an assistant professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics in the School of Medicine at the UT Health Science Center. “We’ve been building the project for some time, so the funding for a coordinator gives us the opportunity to really move it forward.”

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The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, one of the country’s leading health sciences universities, ranks in the top 3 percent of all institutions worldwide receiving National Institutes of Health funding. The university’s schools of medicine, nursing, dentistry, health professions and graduate biomedical sciences have produced more than 29,000 graduates. The $765 million operating budget supports eight campuses in San Antonio, Laredo, Harlingen and Edinburg. For more information on the many ways “We make lives better®,” visit
The St. Baldrick’s Foundation is a volunteer-driven charity committed to funding the most promising research to find cures for childhood cancers and give survivors long and healthy lives. St. Baldrick’s coordinates its signature head-shaving events worldwide where participants collect pledges to shave their heads in solidarity with kids with cancer, raising money to fund research. Since 2005, St. Baldrick’s has awarded more than $127 million to support lifesaving research, making the Foundation the largest private funder of childhood cancer research grants. St. Baldrick’s funds are granted to some of the most brilliant childhood cancer research experts in the world and to younger professionals who will be the experts of tomorrow. Funds awarded also enable hundreds of local institutions to participate in national pediatric cancer clinical trials, and the new International Scholar grants train researchers to work in developing countries. For more information about the St. Baldrick’s Foundation please call 1.888.899.BALD or visit

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