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Cancer and Aging Research Program

The number of older patients with cancer and surviving cancer is rapidly growing because the U.S. population is aging with a projected doubling in the number of patients 65 and older by 2030. Although the majority of cancers occur in older adults, these patients have been under-represented in national cancer clinical trials, which set the standards for oncology care. Few studies have specifically focused on the unique issues which face older adults such as the impact of age related declines in physiology, polypharmacy or comorbid medical conditions on treatment tolerance.
 
Arti Hurria, M.D. leads City of Hope's Cancer and Aging Research Program, the mission of which is to join investigators from all cancer disciplines to study biology, treatment and survivorship issues that face older adults with cancer. The results of this research will be applicable to the majority of patients with cancer because approximately 60 percent of cancer diagnoses and 70 percent of cancer mortality occur in patients over the age of 65.
 
In addition, Hurria established the Cancer and Aging Research Group in order to further research in geriatric oncology. This group is comprised of physicians and researchers across the country who collaborate in many different clinical trials benefiting older adults.
 
Cancer and Aging Research Group (CARG) at mycarg.org: http://www.mycarg.org/
 

About Dr. Arti Hurria

Arti Hurria, M.D.
Arti Hurria, M.D.
Associate Professor of Medical Oncology
Director, Cancer and Aging
Research Program


An award-winning investigator, Arti Hurria, M.D., is an internationally recognized expert in geriatric oncology. Through her studies, her leadership, her advocacy and her mentorship of up-and-coming researchers, she promotes longer, healthier lives for older adults everywhere. Her CV can be found here.

Research Focus

  • Research Focus
     
  • Role of Geriatric Assessment in the care of the older patient with cancer (understanding an individual’s physiologic age verses chronological age) 
     
  • Adjuvant treatment decisions in older patients with breast cancer
     
  • Cognitive effects of cancer therapy in older cancer patients
     
  • Pharmacokinetics of cancer therapy with aging
 

Science to Meet a Critical Need

City of Hope is home to one of the few specialized research programs designed to meet the unique needs of older adults with cancer. This is a crucial area of study that will only grow in the coming years.
  • Between 2010 and 2030, cancer incidence is expected to rise 67 percent in those age 65 or older, compared to 11 percent for those under age 65.
  • Approximately 60 percent of all cancers occur in people aged 65 years or older.
  • Older adults with cancer are underrepresented in the clinical trials that shape national standards for cancer care.

Team Members

Bihong (Beth) Chen, M.D., Ph.D.

Bihong (Beth) Chen, M.D., Ph.D.
Title: Associate Clinical Professor
Contact Info: bechen@coh.org
 
  Yuan Yuan, M.D., Ph.D.

Yuan Yuan, M.D., Ph.D.
Title: Assistant Professor
Contact Info: yuyuan@coh.org
 
Peggy S. Burhenn, M.S., C.N.S., A.O.C.N.S.

Peggy S. Burhenn, M.S., C.N.S., A.O.C.N.S.
Title: Professional Practice Leader
Contact Info: pburhenn@coh.org
 
  Ellen Liu, R.N., M.S., FNP-C

Ellen Liu, M.S.
Title: Nurse Practitioner (R.N., M.S., FNP-C)
Contact Info: eliu@coh.org
 
Daisy Rivera, L.C.S.W.

Daisy Rivera, L.C.S.W.
Title: Social Worker III
Contact Info: drivera@coh.org
 
  David D. Smith, Ph.D.

David D. Smith, Ph.D.
Title: Research Professor
Contact Info: dsmith02@coh.org
 
Vani Katheria, M.S.

Vani Katheria, M.S.
Title: Cancer and Aging Program Manager
Contact Info: vkatheria@coh.org
 
  Chie Akiba

Chie Akiba
Title: Clinical Research Associate II
Contact Info: cakiba@coh.org
 
Jennifer Choi

Jennifer Choi
Title: Clinical Research Assistant I
Contact Info: jechoi@coh.org
 
  Anait Arsenyan

Anait Arsenyan
Title: Clinical Research Associate II
Contact Info: aarsenyan@coh.org
 
Abrahm Levi

Abrahm Levi
Title: Clinical Research Assistant I
Contact Info: alevi@coh.org
 
  Julie Filo

Julie Filo
Title: Clinical Research Assistant I
Contact Info: jfilo@coh.org
 
Andrea Rubalcava

Andrea Rubalcava
Title: Clinical Research Assistant I
Contact Info: anrubalcava@coh.org
 
  Dawnyetta Reese

Dawnyetta Reese
Title: Senior Administrative Support
Contact Info: dreese@coh.org
 
Dale Mitani

Dale Mitani
Title: Application Developer
Contact Info: dmitani@coh.org
 
 

 
 
 
 
 

Older Adults are Unique

Not all 70-year-olds are alike. Chronological age does not tell the whole story. The team of Arti Hurria, M.D., has developed a comprehensive assessment to determine the functional age of older adults, therefore enabling a more tailored approach to cancer care.
  • Utilizing the information gathered during the assessment, a score can be determined to predict which older adults will be at increased risk for chemotherapy side effects. Knowing which patients may suffer an increased risk of side effects could influence treatment decisions made by doctors and patients.
  • Older adults typically have other medical conditions that need to be considered when choosing the type of therapy.
  • Older adults often take several prescribed medications. A careful medication review needs to be performed in order to understand which can interact with cancer treatment.
  • Older adults may have different preferences regarding treatments, taking into account the side effects of various treatment options and the impact of therapy on their ability to live independently.


Older Adults

Innovation and Research

The research of Arti Hurria, M.D., has led to the development of a chemotherapy toxicity calculator, a prechemotherapy assessment that captures information which can be used to predict which older adults are the most vulnerable to serious side effects from cancer treatment. Ultimately, the chemotherapy toxicity calculator will be used in clinical practice, where it will be a part of shared decision-making between the health care provider, patient and the patient’s family. It is also being developed into a mobile app for future use.

Additionally:
  • Two clinical trials of novel cancer treatments are being conducted in older adults.
  • Research studies to determine the effects of chemotherapy on memory.
  • Research to support caregivers: the impact of a loved one’s cancer care and ways to provide support.

Collaboration

Arti Hurria, M.D., founded and leads the Cancer and Aging Research Group, which joins investigators across the nation in collaborative research to design and implement clinical trials to improve the care of older adults with cancer. More information can be found at www.mycarg.org

How You Can Help

Donate today to provide hope for older adults with cancer through innovative research.

Research is the only way forward against cancer in older adults. And progress is only possible with the help of generous donors.

Your gift makes a difference. Join forces with Arti Hurria, M.D., and her team and help transform the future of health for older adults with cancer.

You can also create a personal fundraising page. Share your story and inspire friends, family and associates to support this lifesaving mission. Please visit https://ourhope.cityofhope.org/events/dr-hurria-fundraising-page/e43974.

To learn more, contact Janet Morgan, Senior Development Officer at jmorgan@coh.org.

City of Hope Philanthropy
1500 East Duarte Road, Duarte, CA 91010
800-667-5310
philanthropy@coh.org
 

Cancer and Aging Research Program

Cancer and Aging Research Program

The number of older patients with cancer and surviving cancer is rapidly growing because the U.S. population is aging with a projected doubling in the number of patients 65 and older by 2030. Although the majority of cancers occur in older adults, these patients have been under-represented in national cancer clinical trials, which set the standards for oncology care. Few studies have specifically focused on the unique issues which face older adults such as the impact of age related declines in physiology, polypharmacy or comorbid medical conditions on treatment tolerance.
 
Arti Hurria, M.D. leads City of Hope's Cancer and Aging Research Program, the mission of which is to join investigators from all cancer disciplines to study biology, treatment and survivorship issues that face older adults with cancer. The results of this research will be applicable to the majority of patients with cancer because approximately 60 percent of cancer diagnoses and 70 percent of cancer mortality occur in patients over the age of 65.
 
In addition, Hurria established the Cancer and Aging Research Group in order to further research in geriatric oncology. This group is comprised of physicians and researchers across the country who collaborate in many different clinical trials benefiting older adults.
 
Cancer and Aging Research Group (CARG) at mycarg.org: http://www.mycarg.org/
 

About Dr. Arti Hurria

About Dr. Arti Hurria

Arti Hurria, M.D.
Arti Hurria, M.D.
Associate Professor of Medical Oncology
Director, Cancer and Aging
Research Program


An award-winning investigator, Arti Hurria, M.D., is an internationally recognized expert in geriatric oncology. Through her studies, her leadership, her advocacy and her mentorship of up-and-coming researchers, she promotes longer, healthier lives for older adults everywhere. Her CV can be found here.

Research Focus

Research Focus

  • Research Focus
     
  • Role of Geriatric Assessment in the care of the older patient with cancer (understanding an individual’s physiologic age verses chronological age) 
     
  • Adjuvant treatment decisions in older patients with breast cancer
     
  • Cognitive effects of cancer therapy in older cancer patients
     
  • Pharmacokinetics of cancer therapy with aging
 

Science to Meet a Critical Need

Science to Meet a Critical Need

City of Hope is home to one of the few specialized research programs designed to meet the unique needs of older adults with cancer. This is a crucial area of study that will only grow in the coming years.
  • Between 2010 and 2030, cancer incidence is expected to rise 67 percent in those age 65 or older, compared to 11 percent for those under age 65.
  • Approximately 60 percent of all cancers occur in people aged 65 years or older.
  • Older adults with cancer are underrepresented in the clinical trials that shape national standards for cancer care.

Team Members

Team Members

Bihong (Beth) Chen, M.D., Ph.D.

Bihong (Beth) Chen, M.D., Ph.D.
Title: Associate Clinical Professor
Contact Info: bechen@coh.org
 
  Yuan Yuan, M.D., Ph.D.

Yuan Yuan, M.D., Ph.D.
Title: Assistant Professor
Contact Info: yuyuan@coh.org
 
Peggy S. Burhenn, M.S., C.N.S., A.O.C.N.S.

Peggy S. Burhenn, M.S., C.N.S., A.O.C.N.S.
Title: Professional Practice Leader
Contact Info: pburhenn@coh.org
 
  Ellen Liu, R.N., M.S., FNP-C

Ellen Liu, M.S.
Title: Nurse Practitioner (R.N., M.S., FNP-C)
Contact Info: eliu@coh.org
 
Daisy Rivera, L.C.S.W.

Daisy Rivera, L.C.S.W.
Title: Social Worker III
Contact Info: drivera@coh.org
 
  David D. Smith, Ph.D.

David D. Smith, Ph.D.
Title: Research Professor
Contact Info: dsmith02@coh.org
 
Vani Katheria, M.S.

Vani Katheria, M.S.
Title: Cancer and Aging Program Manager
Contact Info: vkatheria@coh.org
 
  Chie Akiba

Chie Akiba
Title: Clinical Research Associate II
Contact Info: cakiba@coh.org
 
Jennifer Choi

Jennifer Choi
Title: Clinical Research Assistant I
Contact Info: jechoi@coh.org
 
  Anait Arsenyan

Anait Arsenyan
Title: Clinical Research Associate II
Contact Info: aarsenyan@coh.org
 
Abrahm Levi

Abrahm Levi
Title: Clinical Research Assistant I
Contact Info: alevi@coh.org
 
  Julie Filo

Julie Filo
Title: Clinical Research Assistant I
Contact Info: jfilo@coh.org
 
Andrea Rubalcava

Andrea Rubalcava
Title: Clinical Research Assistant I
Contact Info: anrubalcava@coh.org
 
  Dawnyetta Reese

Dawnyetta Reese
Title: Senior Administrative Support
Contact Info: dreese@coh.org
 
Dale Mitani

Dale Mitani
Title: Application Developer
Contact Info: dmitani@coh.org
 
 

 
 
 
 
 

Older Adults are Unique

Older Adults are Unique

Not all 70-year-olds are alike. Chronological age does not tell the whole story. The team of Arti Hurria, M.D., has developed a comprehensive assessment to determine the functional age of older adults, therefore enabling a more tailored approach to cancer care.
  • Utilizing the information gathered during the assessment, a score can be determined to predict which older adults will be at increased risk for chemotherapy side effects. Knowing which patients may suffer an increased risk of side effects could influence treatment decisions made by doctors and patients.
  • Older adults typically have other medical conditions that need to be considered when choosing the type of therapy.
  • Older adults often take several prescribed medications. A careful medication review needs to be performed in order to understand which can interact with cancer treatment.
  • Older adults may have different preferences regarding treatments, taking into account the side effects of various treatment options and the impact of therapy on their ability to live independently.


Older Adults

Innovation and Research

Innovation and Research

The research of Arti Hurria, M.D., has led to the development of a chemotherapy toxicity calculator, a prechemotherapy assessment that captures information which can be used to predict which older adults are the most vulnerable to serious side effects from cancer treatment. Ultimately, the chemotherapy toxicity calculator will be used in clinical practice, where it will be a part of shared decision-making between the health care provider, patient and the patient’s family. It is also being developed into a mobile app for future use.

Additionally:
  • Two clinical trials of novel cancer treatments are being conducted in older adults.
  • Research studies to determine the effects of chemotherapy on memory.
  • Research to support caregivers: the impact of a loved one’s cancer care and ways to provide support.

Clinical Trials

Collaboration

Collaboration

Arti Hurria, M.D., founded and leads the Cancer and Aging Research Group, which joins investigators across the nation in collaborative research to design and implement clinical trials to improve the care of older adults with cancer. More information can be found at www.mycarg.org

How You Can Help

How You Can Help

Donate today to provide hope for older adults with cancer through innovative research.

Research is the only way forward against cancer in older adults. And progress is only possible with the help of generous donors.

Your gift makes a difference. Join forces with Arti Hurria, M.D., and her team and help transform the future of health for older adults with cancer.

You can also create a personal fundraising page. Share your story and inspire friends, family and associates to support this lifesaving mission. Please visit https://ourhope.cityofhope.org/events/dr-hurria-fundraising-page/e43974.

To learn more, contact Janet Morgan, Senior Development Officer at jmorgan@coh.org.

City of Hope Philanthropy
1500 East Duarte Road, Duarte, CA 91010
800-667-5310
philanthropy@coh.org
 


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