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Survivorship


Clinical Highlights

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is unsurpassed in the field of childhood cancer survivorship, both in the clinical care we offer and in our unique research programs. 


After Completion of Therapy (ACT) Clinic

The ACT Clinic addresses the medical and psychosocial needs of childhood cancer survivors treated at St. Jude. Along with annual evaluations for cancer-related late effects by a thorough risk-based assessment, counseling is provided to enhance awareness of health risks following cancer treatment and preventive measures to reduce risk.


Alumnus Program

The Alumnus Program office provides supportive services for long-term survivors treated at St. Jude who have graduated from clinical follow-up. This program offers education for alumni survivors about cancer-related health risks, methods of risk reduction and survivor advocacy resources.


St. Jude Lifetime Cohort Study

St. Jude LIFE is an unprecedented program bringing back long-term survivors to St. Jude, the site of their original treatment, for regular clinical follow-up throughout their adult lives. One of the most significant undertakings in survivorship research in the world, the study actively monitors more than 2,400 adult survivors.


The Childhood Cancer Survivor Study

St. Jude leads the Childhood Cancer Survivor Study (CCSS), a multi-institutional effort that represents the world’s single largest source of survivorship research data. The study is amassing data from more than 22,000 five-year survivors of childhood cancer diagnosed between 1970 and 1999, including thousands treated at St. Jude.


Selected research highlights


Childhood cancer survivors found to have significant undiagnosed disease as adults

A comprehensive health study finds that childhood cancer survivors overwhelmingly experience a significant amount of undiagnosed, serious disease through their adult years. By age 45, 80 percent have a life-threatening, serious or disabling chronic condition. These findings establish the importance of proactive, life-long clinical health screenings for this growing high-risk population.
JAMA, June 2013


Survivors are at high risk for multiple cancers

The largest study yet of adults who survived childhood cancer found they are at increased risk for multiple subsequent cancers. For about 10 percent of the survivors, the first cancer begins a lifelong battle against different cancers.
Journal of Clinical Oncology, August 2011


Antidepressant use associated with obesity risk in childhood cancer survivors 

An analysis of more than 9,000 adult survivors of childhood cancer shows that use of the antidepressant paroxetine (Paxil) is associated with increased obesity risk. Obesity risk was also elevated among survivors with poor physical function, but lower among those who exercise regularly. These results may help identify those most at risk for obesity and suggest specific weight-control strategies.
Journal of Clinical Oncology, January 2012


Hodgkin lymphoma survivors at increased risk for brain injury, memory loss

Previously thought to be at low risk of long-term neurocognitive impairment, adult survivors of childhood Hodgkin lymphoma are found to have unexpected abnormalities in brain structure and diminished memory, attention span and fine motor speed. These findings appear related to cardiopulmonary health and signal a need to investigate how neurocognitive late effects may be prevented in this population.
Journal of Clinical Oncology, October 2012


Childhood cancer survivors more sensitive to poor sleep quality, fatigue

Childhood cancer survivors experiencing fatigue or poor sleep quality report a decreased ability to efficiently complete tasks or regulate emotions compared to siblings with no cancer history. Better sleep hygiene may therefore present an additional route toward improving neurocognitive function in survivors.
Cancer, April 2011


Hypothalamic/pituitary radiation linked to fertility loss

A study of more than 3,500 female childhood cancer survivors finds a decreased rate of pregnancy among those who received modest doses of hypothalamic/pituitary radiation during treatment. This finding should influence how patients and their families are counseled about fertility issues prior to treatment.
Fertility and Sterility, May 2011