Understanding the effects of pediatric cancers, diseases and treatments on the overall health of long-term survivors
Treatments for pediatric cancers and diseases can adversely affect the long-term health of children as they age. My work focuses on understanding these effects, identifying predictors of cancer-related complications, educating patients on their risks and formulating a follow-up treatment plan that allows for these risks to be monitored over time.
As researchers and clinicians discover new life-saving treatments and cures for childhood cancers and catastrophic diseases, it is important to consider the impact that cancer and its treatments have on the overall health of a patient throughout the rest of their life. I work with the St. Jude Life Study, the After Completion of Therapy Clinic and the Human Performance Lab to provide follow-up care for thousands of survivors of childhood cancer.
Our team provides comprehensive medical, physical and cognitive evaluations of those who have been diagnosed and treated for pediatric cancer or disease. The data from these evaluations are compiled and assessed in order to understand the long-term impact of cancer treatment-related health issues. We are also interested in identifying clinical biomarkers which help predict certain health-related issues, allowing us to initiate early interventions.
An important part of my work involves educating long-term survivors on potential risks they may face due to their cancer and/or treatment and doing so in a way that allows them to fully understand and take charge of their follow-up treatment plan outside of St. Jude. Open dialogue and plain language are essential in helping former patients understand what next steps are important for them as they continue their health journey. I also provide education for local physicians so they can understand the late effects and potential complications that may arise in patients that have been treated for pediatric cancers and diseases.
Additionally, I interview potential transplant donors for our pediatric patients and work with Occupational Health in assessing and implementing vaccination and awareness campaigns.
Dr. Folse is a family medicine physician who received his MD from the University of Mississippi Medical School. He completed residency programs in family medicine at the University of Mississippi Medical Center and the University of Tennessee. Dr. Folse practiced family medicine in the Memphis area for 20 years before joining St. Jude. As a staff physician in the Division of Cancer Survivorship within the Department of Oncology, Dr. Folse serves as the Clinical Director for the St. Jude LIFE Study Cohort Team, oversees the Human Performance Lab and also provides patient care in the After Completion of Therapy Clinic at St. Jude. He is interested in understanding the long-term effects of pediatric cancer-related treatments.