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Project Information

Project Information

Diagnosing and Treating Adult Cancers

Project Scope:

An ad-hoc committee of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine will address the following objectives:

1. Provide an overview of the current status of the diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis of adult cancers including, but not limited to, breast cancer and lung cancer, and the relative levels of associated functional limitation typically associated with these cancers, common treatments, and other considerations in the U.S. population age 18 and older;
2. Identify adult cancers with recent advances in treatment or changes in prognosis, including but not limited to breast cancer, and lung cancer, and describe to the degree possible:
  a. The professionally accepted diagnostic techniques used in identifying adult cancers (for example, laboratory and clinical findings);
  b. The stages of adult cancers, how the stages are determined (for example, by specific laboratory findings), and what the stages mean in terms of treatment and prognosis;
  c. Clinical standards for identifying complete remission or cure, and variability in the time period used to identify remission, the difference between complete remission and partial remission (if appropriate), and the consequences of partial remission (for example, if partial remission results in a reduction in type or intensity of treatment);
  d. Secondary impairments that result from either the cancer or the treatment (for example, cognitive impairment following certain treatment); and
  e. Common long-term and late effects of the cancer or therapy.
3. Identify the types of treatments available and describe to the degree possible:
  a. The clinical practice guidelines for receiving the treatments;
  b. The settings in which the treatments are provided;
  c. What receipt of the treatments indicates about the severity of the medical condition; and
  d. The likelihood of improvement when receiving the treatments and the period over which the improvement would be expected;
4. Provide a summary of selected promising treatments currently being studied in clinical trials for adult cancers; and
5. Provide the median survival time and survival rates dependent on the stage and the type of cancer (including area of body affected).

The report will include conclusions but not recommendations.

The committee shall not describe issues with respect to access to treatments. While the Social Security Administration (SSA) recognizes people may have difficulty accessing care or particular forms of treatment, some do successfully access those treatments. SSA may receive information about those treatments in the medical records SSA considers when making disability determinations and conducting continuing disability reviews (CDRs). SSA understands improvement is not certain in all cases. SSA makes individual decisions on each case based on all the evidence they receive.

Status: Current

PIN: HMD-HCS-19-07

Project Duration (months): 18 month(s)

RSO: Wedge, Roberta


Board on Health Care Services


Health and Medicine

Geographic Focus:

Committee Membership

Committee Post Date: 12/16/2019

Dan G. Blazer, II - (Chair)
Dan G. Blazer, II, M.D., M.P.H., Ph.D., is a J.P. Gibbons Professor of Psychiatry Emeritus and Professor of Community and Family Medicine at Duke University and also serves as Adjunct Professor in the Department of Epidemiology at the University of North Carolina, School of Public Health. He is the author or co-author of over 180 books chapters, over 220 published abstracts, and nearly 500 peer-reviewed articles. He is also the editor or author of 40 books. He has served as the Principal Investigator (PI) of the Duke University Established Populations for Epidemiologic Studies of the Elderly, the Piedmont Health Survey of the Elderly, and the MacArthur Field Studies of Successful Aging. He also was the original PI of the Duke Clinical Research Center for the Study of Depression in Late. Dr. Blazer is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine from which he received the Walsh McDermott Award for Distinguished Lifetime Service to the Academy. Dr. Blazer has served as chair of the Board on the Health of Select Populations for the National Academies, as a member of the Board on Population Health and Public Health Practice, and has chaired multiple consensus committees. Dr. Blazer is the recipient of the first Annual Geriatric Psychiatry Research Award and the Distinguished Service Award from the American College of Psychiatrists, the Weinberg Award for geriatric psychiatry and the Oscar Pfister Award for the integration of religion and psychiatry from the American Psychiatric Association, the Klemeier Award from the Gerontological Society of America, Rema Lapouse Award from the American Public Health Association, the Distinguished Faculty Award from Duke University School of Medicine and the Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of North Carolina School of Public Health and the University of Tennessee School of Medicine, and the Senior Investigator Award from the American Association of Geriatric Psychiatry. He received his MD from the University of Tennessee, Memphis, and his MPH and PhD degrees from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Alex A. Adjei
Alex A. Adjei, M.D., Ph.D., is Professor of Oncology and Professor of Pharmacology in the Mayo College of Medicine. He is also a consultant in Medical Oncology at Mayo Clinic, Director of the Early Cancer Therapeutics Program and leader of the Lung Cancer Program across all three Mayo Clinic sites, and Pl for the Mayo Phase I and Phase II NCI grants. Dr. Adjei has served on a number of National Cancer Institute Committees and is currently co-chair of the Thoracic Malignancies Steering Committee and Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Thoracic Oncology. His research is focused on experimental therapeutics and clinical drug development, and he received the first American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Drug Development Research Professorship 2012-2017, in recognition of his mentorship and his work in cancer drug development. He has authored 260 publications dealing primarily with preclinical pharmacology and phase I trials as well as novel therapeutics/phase II trials of lung cancer. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Alberta and MD from the University of Ghana Medical School. Dr. Adjei is the PI for ten clinical trials. Funding from the pharmaceutical companies for the trials goes to the Mayo Clinical Research Center.

Wallace Akerley
Wallace Akerley, M.D., is the Director of Huntsman Cancer Institute Lung Cancer Disease Center and a Professor of Internal Medicine at the University of Utah. He is board certified in Oncology and Hematology and has practiced both. He has been active in clinical research for more than 20 years. He continues a leadership role in the Huntsman Intermountain Cancer Care Program, a community-academic collaboration. Dr. Akerley is the Pl of 2 active institutional trials and institutional Pl for 16 national clinical trials. Funding from Bristol-Myers Squibb, NovoCure, Pfizer, Novartis, lncyte, CytomX, Loxo, and Moderna for drugs and data management and analysis goes to the Huntsman Cancer Institute.
Jose G. Bazan, Jr.
Jose G. Bazan, Jr., M.D., is a radiation oncologist affiliated with the Ohio State University with clinical expertise in treating breast cancer and non-small cell carcinomas of the lung. He has published in a variety of medical journals such as International Journal of Radiation Oncology*Biology*Physics, Journal of Thoracic Oncology, Journal of Nuclear Medicine, Practical Radiation Oncology, and Clinical Lung Cancer. Dr. Bazan has been PI for several clinical trials and is currently PI for the Multi-Institution Phase II Trial of Intraoperative Electron Beam Radiotherapy Boost at the Time of Breast Conserving Surgery with Oncoplastic Reconstruction in Women with Early-Stage Breast Cancer. Funding from medical device manufacturer for this trial goes to the Ohio State University. He received his MD from Stanford University.
Gabriel A. Brooks
Gabriel Brooks, M.D., M.P.H., is an Assistant Professor of Medicine and Assistant Professor of The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth. He is a health services researcher with a focus on improving the quality and value of cancer treatments. In his clinical practice he treats patients with gastrointestinal cancers, including colorectal, gastric, pancreas and hepatobiliary cancers. He received his MD from the University of Pennsylvania, School of Medicine. Dr. Brooks is a site principal investigator for cancer clinical trials with a mix of public and private funding, including three multi-institution clinical trials with pharmaceutical industry funding. Pharmaceutical company payments for the these trials goes to Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center; Dr. Brooks does not receive any payments for his role as site principal investigator.
Deborah W. Bruner
Deborah W. Bruner, Ph.D., R.N., is Senior Vice President for Research at Emory University, Professor and Robert W. Woodruff Chair in Nursing, Professor of Radiation Oncology, and a member of the Winship Cancer Institute. She is an internationally renowned researcher and clinical trialist with a focus on patient reported outcomes, symptom management, and comparative effectiveness of radiotherapy modalities. Recognition of her work led to her appointment by President Obama to one of only two National Institutes of Health Presidential appointed committees, the NCI National Cancer Advisory Board, on which she still serves. Dr. Bruner is the first and only nurse to ever lead a national clinical trials cooperative group, first as the Principal Investigator (PI) of the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG) Community Clinical Oncology Program (CCOP), and currently as multi-PI of the NRG Oncology group National Community Oncology Research Program (NCORP). She is a member of the National Academy of Medicine and has won numerous awards for research and mentorship. Dr. Bruner received her PhD in nursing, with a focus on outcomes research, at the University of Pennsylvania.
Grace B. Campbell
Grace B. Campbell, Ph.D., MSW, R.N., is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Acute and Tertiary Care at the University of Pittsburgh, School of Nursing. Her research involves assessing the impact of chronic disorders on physical function and developing behavioral interventions to improve physical function, as well as using novel technologies to measure physical function in naturalistic settings. She is currently conducting a longitudinal study exploring the development and progression of chemotherapy induced peripheral neuropathy and its related functional impairments in women with ovarian cancer funded by the Oncology Nursing Society, and scale-up implementation study of use of an m-Health behavioral intervention to improve function and social participation among women with gynecologic cancer and their family caregivers funded by the National Institute for Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research. She is a member of the Association of Rehabilitation Nurses, American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine, Oncology Nursing Society, and Eastern Nursing Research Society, serves as a Subject Matter Expert for Cancer Rehabilitation on the NIH Clinical Center's Cancer Rehabilitation Expert Consortium, and is a member of the Editorial Board of the Rehabilitation Nursing Journal. She also is a member of the Roundtable on Quality Care for People with Serious Illness. She received her MSW and PhD from the University of Pittsburgh.
Susan M. Domchek
Susan M. Domchek, M.D., is the Basser Professor in Oncology at the Perelman School of Medicine of the University of Pennsylvania. She serves as Executive Director of the Basser Center for BRCA at the Abramson Cancer Center and Director of the Mariann and Robert MacDonald Cancer Risk Evaluation Program. Her work focuses on the genetic evaluation and medical management of individuals with inherited risk factors for cancer. Dr. Domchek is particularly interested in developing new cancer therapies, such as PARP inhibitors, for breast cancer due to genetic risk factors. She has been principal investigator on multiple trials investigating new therapeutic agents for cancer. An elected member of the American Society of Clinical Investigation and the Association of American Physicians, Dr. Domchek is also a member of the American Society of Clinical Oncology for which she had served on a number of committees, and is a newly elected member of the National Academy of Medicine (2018). A significant contributor to the oncology literature, she has authored/co-authored more than 300 articles appearing in scholarly journals including the New England Journal of Medicine, the Journal of the American Medical Association and the Journal of Clinical Oncology. Dr. Domchek also serves on a number of editorial review boards, including Cancer Discovery, as well as on the Scientific Advisory Board for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. She received her MD from Harvard Medical School. In the last two years, Dr. Domchek has received honoraria from Bristol Meyers Squibb, Clovis, and AstraZeneca. The University of Pennsylvania has received research funds from AstraZeneca and Clovis for research studies run by Dr. Domchek.
Patricia A. Ganz
Patricia A. Ganz, M.D., is the Associate Director for Population Science Research at the Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). She is a pioneer in the assessment of quality of life in cancer patients and survivors, and is active in clinical trials research with NRG Oncology, a federally funded clinical trials group. She has focused much of her clinical and research efforts in the areas of breast cancer and its prevention, and was a member of the NCI Progress Review Group on Breast Cancer. She established the UCLA Family Cancer Registry and Genetic Evaluation Program, which serves patients and survivors, as well as those at high risk for familial/hereditary cancers. Her other major areas of research include cancer survivorship and late effects of cancer treatment, cancer in the elderly, and quality of care for cancer patients. Dr. Ganz served on the Institute of Medicine (IOM) Committee responsible for the 2005 report "From Cancer Patient to Survivor: Lost in Transition," and on the 2008 IOM Committee for the report "Cancer Care for the Whole Patient: Meeting Psychosocial Health Needs", and chaired the consensus study report on "Delivering High-quality Cancer Care: Charting a New Course for a System in Crisis" in 2013. She served on the IOM National Cancer Policy Forum from 2009-16. In 2017 she became Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, and is on the editorial board of the Journal of Cancer Survivorship. She was a founding member of the National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship (NCCS) in 1986, and has directed the UCLA-LIVESTRONG Survivorship Center of Excellence at the JCCC since 2006. Dr. Ganz was elected to the National Academy of Medicine in 2007. She received her MD from UCLA. Dr. Ganz is the co-investigator on two NRG Oncology clinical trials (as supervisor of the patient reported outcomes component) that have partial funding from Merck and Genentech to provide support for drugs and analyses being conducted by NRG Oncology.
Rosa Hwang
Rosa Hwang, M.D., is a Professor at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center (MDACC) with joint appointments in the Departments of Breast Surgical Oncology and Surgical Oncology. She is currently also the Associate Medical Director for Surgery at the Nellie B. Connally Breast Center at MD Anderson. After completing medical school at the University of Maryland, she completed general surgery residency at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, followed by a fellowship in Surgical Oncology at MDACC. During her Surgical Oncology fellowship, she also completed a research fellowship in the Department of Cancer Biology, with Dr. Isaiah (Josh) Fidler. Her first faculty appointment was in the Department of Surgery at the Univ. of California-San Diego but she returned to MDACC in 2004 to join the faculty in Surgical Oncology. Dr. Hwang is a surgeon scientist with a clinical focus on breast cancer as well as a research laboratory program focused on pancreatic cancer as well as triple negative breast cancer. Her laboratory interest is on the tumor-associated stroma and its contributions to cancer progression, metastasis and resistance to chemotherapy and immunotherapy. She has served as a grant reviewer for numerous federal and private funding sources including the National Institutes of Health/National Cancer Institute, Department of Defense and the American Medical Association Foundation. Her clinical research interests are focused on optimizing surgical therapy for breast cancer including the development of predictive tools for nodal involvement, minimally invasive approaches for breast cancer treatment, and the role of oncoplastic surgery for breast cancer patients.
Nancy Keating
Nancy Keating, M.D., M.P.H., is a professor of health care policy at Harvard Medical School and a practicing general internist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Her research examines provider, patient, and health system factors that influence the delivery of high-quality care for individuals with cancer. She currently serves as clinical lead on the CMS Oncology Care Model Evaluation Team. She is an associate editor at the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Geriatric Oncology, and a member of the National Comprehensive Cancer Center Senior Oncology Guideline Panel. She completed 3-year terms on the Council of the Society of General Internal Medicine and the American Society of Clinical Oncology Clinical Practice Guidelines Committee. Dr. Keating was a member of the National Academies’ Committee on the Review of Clinical Guidance for the Care of Health Conditions Identified by the Camp Lejeune Legislation. She received her M.D. from the University of Chicago, Pritzker School of Medicine and her M.P.H. from the Harvard School of Public Health.
Larissa Nekhlyudov
Larissa Nekhlyudov, M.D., M.P.H., is an Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, a practicing internist at the Brigham& Women's Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts, and Clinical Director, Internal Medicine for Cancer Survivors at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute where she offers clinical consultations for long-term survivors of childhood and adult cancers. She is particularly interested in improving the care of cancer survivors and the interplay between primary and oncology care. Over the past decade, she has been at the forefront of the field of cancer survivorship, including the development of survivorship care policies and clinical guidelines, educational programs and research. She is an active member of the Society of General Internal Medicine, the American Society of Clinical Oncology, and the National Comprehensive Cancer Network. She has previously served on several National Academies' activities including the Committee on the Quality of Cancer Care: Addressing the Challenges of an Aging Population and Planning Committee for Long-Term Survivorship Care after Cancer Treatment: A Workshop. She received her M.D. from the Mount Sinai School of Medicine and completed residency training at Yale-New Haven Hospital/Yale Primary Care Residency Program.
Kathryn Schmitz
Kathryn Schmitz, Ph.D., M.P.H., FACSM, is a Professor of Public Health Sciences at the Pennsylvania State University’s College of Medicine. She is clinical trialist who has led many exercise trials. Dr. Schmitz has also translated her work into clinical practice. Dr. Schmitz has published over 250 peer reviewed scientific papers and has had $25 million dollars in funding for her research since 2001. She was the lead author of the first ACSM Roundtable on Exercise for Cancer Survivors, which published guidance for exercise testing and prescription for cancer survivors in July 2010. In June 2017, she became president-elect of the American College of Sports Medicine. She assumed the presidency in June 2018 and as of June 2019, she became ACSM’s Immediate Past President. In March 2018 Dr. Schmitz chaired an International Multidisciplinary ACSM Roundtable on Exercise and Cancer Prevention and Control. The physicians, outpatient rehabilitation specialists, researchers, and exercise professionals in the room broadly agreed it is time for exercise oncology to go prime time. The question is how. Dr. Schmitz’ professional mission is to answer that question.
Dianne Von Ah
Diane Von Ah, Ph.D., R.N., FAAN is the Associate Dean of Academic Operations and Professor at Indiana University, and Full Member of the Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center. Her program of research focuses on advancing the state of the science in the area of cancer survivorship including symptom management and quality of life and combines clinical, behavioral, and basic sciences to address cancer symptom management, focusing primarily on cognitive impairment in breast cancer patients. Most recently she is funded to conduct a double blind RCT to examine the efficacy of cognitive training on cognitive performance in breast cancer survivors. Her work has been acknowledged by numerous awards including induction as a Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing. She received her PhD from the University of Alabama at Birmingham and her post-doctoral fellowship at Indiana University.



Arnold and Mabel Beckman Center
100 Academy Way, Irvine, CA 92617
Event Type :  

Description :   

The second meeting of the Committee on Diagnosing and Treating Adult Cancers will be held on March 9-10, 2020 at the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Center of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine in Irvine, California.  Both days will be closed sessions.

Registration for Online Attendance :   

Registration for in Person Attendance :   

If you would like to attend the sessions of this event that are open to the public or need more information please contact

Contact Name:  Roberta Wedge
Contact Email:
Contact Phone:  (202) 334-3106

Supporting File(s)
Is it a Closed Session Event?

Publication(s) resulting from the event:



National Academy of Sciences Building
2101 Constitution Ave NW, Washington, DC 20418
Event Type :  

Description :   

On January 7, 2020, the Committee on Diagnosing and Treating Adult Cancers held an information gathering meeting in Washington, DC. This meeting was open to the public and free to attend.

Registration for Online Attendance :   

Registration for in Person Attendance :   

If you would like to attend the sessions of this event that are open to the public or need more information please contact

Contact Name:  Samira Abbas
Contact Email:
Contact Phone:  (202) 334-3202

Is it a Closed Session Event?
Some sessions are open and some sessions are closed

Closed Session Summary Posted After the Event

The following committee members were present at the closed sessions of the event:

Dan Blazer
Alex Adjei
Wallace Akerley
Jose Bazan
Gabriel Brooks
Deborah Bruner
Grace Campbell
Susan Domchek
Patricia Ganz (via phone)
Rosa Hwang
Nancy Keating
Larissa Nekhlyudov
Kathryn Schmitz
Diane Von Ah

The following topics were discussed in the closed sessions:

Conflict and bias discussion
Review of task objectives
Discussion of potential research needs
Planning for second meeting

The following materials (written documents) were made available to the committee in the closed sessions:

Agenda book
Journal articles and related literature
Draft study outline
Presentation slides from speakers

Date of posting of Closed Session Summary:
January 08, 2020
Publication(s) resulting from the event:



  • Publications having no URL can be seen at the Public Access Records Office

No data present.