St. Jude researcher honored by the American Society of Clinical Oncology for work in childhood cancer survivorship

Memphis, Tennessee, May 30, 2014

Leslie Robison, PhD

Leslie Robison, Ph.D., becomes the fifth researcher from St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital to receive the Pediatric Oncology Award

The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) has named Leslie L. Robison, Ph.D., of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital the recipient of the 2014 Pediatric Oncology Award for his contributions to the field of childhood cancer survivorship research.

Robison will receive the award Saturday at the ASCO annual meeting in Chicago. First presented in 2002, the award recognizes the career and achievements of an individual who has contributed outstanding scientific work—laboratory, clinical or epidemiologic—of major importance to pediatric oncology.

“Dr. Robison has devoted more than 30 years to understanding the late effects of childhood cancer and its treatment,” said Dr. William E. Evans, St. Jude director and CEO. “With long-term survival of pediatric cancer patients reaching 80 percent, the survivor community continues to grow. Understanding the unique health concerns this population faces is central to enhancing quality of life for survivors today as well as improving treatments for the next generation of patients.”

At St. Jude, Robison is chair of the Department of Epidemiology and Cancer Control; associate director for Cancer Prevention and Control in the Cancer Center; and co-leader of the Cancer Prevention and Control Program. He joined St. Jude in 2005.

Robison was the founding principal investigator for the groundbreaking Childhood Cancer Survivor Study (CCSS), a multi-institutional study collecting health survey information from more than 35,000 childhood cancer survivors. This data-gathering program has resulted in one of the most comprehensive bodies of information ever assembled for childhood cancer survivors, greatly advancing the worldwide body of knowledge regarding survivorship. Robison also played a leadership role in developing the St. Jude LIFE study, an unprecedented research effort that is providing comprehensive medical assessments of long-term childhood cancer survivors who were treated at St. Jude.

Studies through CCSS and St. Jude LIFE have shown childhood cancer survivors are at an increased risk of developing new cancers and chronic health problems such as hypertension, diabetes, obesity and elevated blood lipids that pose a serious threat to their heart health. Researchers also showed that as adults many childhood cancer survivors experience a significant amount of undiagnosed, serious disease.

With nearly 35,000 members, ASCO is the world’s leading professional organization representing physicians who care for people with cancer. At the conference, Robison will deliver the award lecture, "Childhood cancer survivors: A lifetime of risk and responsibility."

Other St. Jude researchers who have received the Pediatric Oncology Award include Evans; Mary Relling, Pharm.D., Pharmaceutical Sciences chair; Larry Kun, M.D., clinical director and Radiological Sciences chair; and Ching-Hon Pui, M.D., Oncology chair.

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is leading the way the world understands, treats and cures childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases. It is the only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center devoted solely to children. Treatments developed at St. Jude have helped push the overall childhood cancer survival rate from 20 percent to 80 percent since the hospital opened more than 50 years ago. St. Jude freely shares the breakthroughs it makes, and every child saved at St. Jude means doctors and scientists worldwide can use that knowledge to save thousands more children. Families never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing and food — because all a family should worry about is helping their child live. To learn more, visit stjude.org or follow the hospital on Twitter and Instagram at @stjuderesearch.

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