Current state of funded National Institutes of Health grants focused on individuals living with advanced and metastatic cancers: a portfolio analysis

Mollica, M. A., Tesauro, G., Tonorezos, E. S., Jacobsen, P. B., Smith, A. W., Gallicchio, L.

PURPOSE: The National Cancer Institute has supported cancer survivorship science for many years, yet few funded studies have examined the needs of individuals living with cancer that is advanced or has metastasized. This report analyzes currently active National Institutes of Health (NIH) grants focused on survivorship for patients living with advanced or metastatic cancers to identify emerging research topics in this population and gaps in current science. METHODS: A search of all NIH research grants that received funding in Fiscal Year 2020 focused on this population was conducted, excluding grants with a primary focus on end-of-life care, tumor progression or staging and grants for which the only outcome was survival. RESULTS: A total of 25 active grants met the inclusion criteria. Most were funded using the R01 grant mechanism and included a range of cancer types and topics such as palliative/supportive care, psychosocial support, health services, and symptom sequelae. CONCLUSIONS: Although currently funded grants focus on several important topics, gaps in the portfolio remain. There is a need to enhance the grant portfolio of research studies focused on the longitudinal examination of unmet needs, models of care delivery, impact of innovative therapies, and the impact of financial hardship for individuals living with advanced or metastatic cancer. IMPLICATIONS FOR CANCER SURVIVORS: This review of current NIH studies suggests a need for expanded research on individuals living with advanced or metastatic cancer. Moving forward, enhancing research focused on key gap areas will be critical to improve care and outcomes for this growing population.

Topic(s): Economic Burden
Health Condition(s): Cancer
Year Published: 2021
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