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The Cancer Outcomes Research Program (CORe) conducts innovative research and educational programs to improve the experience and outcomes of patients and caregivers across the continuum of cancer care.
The Cancer Outcomes Research Program (CORe) is a unique, collaborative research team with members from oncology, nursing, palliative care, psychiatry, and psychology. CORe's breadth of experience as investigators and clinicians enables the team to integrate multiple perspectives into a transdisciplinary research platform.
We conduct innovative research and educational programs to improve the experience and outcomes of patients and caregivers across the continuum of cancer care.
Our objectives are to:
CORe members (l-r) Ryan Nipp, MD, Areej El-Jawahri, MD, Joseph Greer, PhD, Jennifer Temel, MD, Sarah Fishman, and Harry VanDusen at the ASCO Palliative Care in Oncology Symposium 2016 in San Francisco, California.
Members of CORe and the MGH Center of Psychiatric Oncology and Behavioral Sciences (l-r) Donna Greenberg, MD, Amy Corveleyn, MSW, LICSW, Carlos Fernandez-Robles, MD, Kelly Irwin, MD, and Joseph Greer, PhD, at the 1st Annual “Bridging the Divide: Mental Health and Cancer Care” Symposium in May 2017.
CORe Director Jennifer Temel, MD and CORe faculty member Ryan Nipp, MD at the 2015 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting in Chicago, IL. Dr. Nipp was honored with a 2015 Conquer Cancer Foundation of ASCO Merit Award in Palliative Care.
CORe research team members at Relay for Life 2012 in Watertown, MA.
Jennifer Temel, MD receives the 2017 Award for Excellence in Scientific Research from the American Association of Hospice and Palliative Medicine.
Research assistant Lauren Fields presents a poster at the 2017 American Psychosocial Oncology Society annual conference in Orlando, FL. Lauren was awarded “Best Student Poster” at the conference.
CORe faculty members: (l-r) Lara Traeger, PhD, Elyse Park, PhD, Jennifer Temel, MD, Jamie Stagl, PhD, Areej El-Jawahri, MD, Teresa Hagan, PhD, Joseph Greer, PhD.
CORe faculty member Ryan Nipp, MD and research assistant Sam Moran presenting a poster at the 2015 Massachusetts General Hospital Clinical Research Day.
CORe research team members at Relay for Life 2015 in Somerville, MA.
Research assistants Nicole Strauss, Julia Rabin, and Emily Friedman at the 2017 American Psychosocial Oncology Society annual conference in Orlando, FL.
CORe Associate Director Joseph Greer, PhD (seated center) and the research team for his study investigating a mobile app for chemotherapy adherence, funded by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI).
CORe Associate Director Joseph Greer, PhD and CORe faculty member Ryan Nipp, MD attending the 2015 Palliative Care in Oncology Symposium in Boston, MA.
Research assistants Sarah Fishman, Harry VanDusen, and Sara D’Arpino present CORe research findings at the 2016 MGH Clinical Research Day.
CORe research assistants at the 2016 MGH Research Appreciation Day.
Faculty Post-Doctoral and Oncology Fellows Research Assistants Residents Students and Interns
Director, Cancer Outcomes Research, Mass General Cancer Center Research Interests: Palliative care, symptom management, and patient-clinician communication.
Associate Director, Cancer Outcomes Research, Mass General Cancer CenterResearch Interests: Development and testing of supportive care interventions for patients with cancer.
Research Interests: Investigating patient-reported outcomes, developing interventions to enhance patient-centered decision-making, and designing supportive and palliative care interventions to improve the care of patients with hematologic malignancies and their families.
Research Interests: Palliative care, informed decision-making, and racial disparities within the chronic kidney disease population.
Research Interests: Palliative and supportive care for patients with brain and spinal cord tumors.
Research Interests: Understanding health disparities for individuals with severe mental illness.
Research Interests: Early integrated outpatient palliative care and palliative care communication education.
Research Interests: Psychosocial adaptation to cancer diagnosis and treatment, and evidence-based interventions to improve physical and emotional outcomes and symptom management for patients with cancer and cancer survivors.
Research Interests: Outcomes related to supportive care of cancer patients and measuring the quality of oncology care.
Research Interests: Optimizing the care delivered to patients with cancer and their family.
Research Interests: Development and integration of motivational and behavioral intervention treatments, particularly for chronic stress and smoking cessation, into cancer and survivorship care.
Research Interests: Issues related to quality of care and survivorship for patients with breast cancer as well as health policy and bioethics issues related to oncology.
Research Interests: Development of integrative mind-body and behavioral interventions to promote health behavior change, treatment adherence, and treatment outcomes for patients throughout the cancer spectrum.
Research Interests: Behavioral aspects of symptom management and quality of life among adults with cancer.
Research Interests: How women with a history of cancer get their needs met in the face of challenges.
Research Interests: Breast cancer disparities and end of life care.
Research Interests: Design of healthcare delivery models that optimize patient outcomes.
Research Interests: Quality of life, symptom burden, advance care planning, palliative care, and end-of-life issues for oncologic patients.
Research Interests: palliative care, patient-clinician communication, and clinical research.
Research Interests: Using patient-centered outcomes and health services research methods to improve the quality of care received by older patients with serious illness across the care continuum.
Research Interests: psychopharmacology, language development, and linguistic disorders
Research presented by CORe investigators at the 2017 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting was recently featured in Oncology Nurse Advisor magazine. The study, led by primary investigator Jennifer Temel, MD and co-lead by authors Jamie Jacobs, PhD, and Joseph Greer, PhD, found that early integrated palliative care for patients with newly diagnosed incurable cancer increases their use of active coping strategies that lead to improvements in quality of life (QOL) and depression. The findings describe that patients receiving early integrated palliative care reported an increase in their use of active coping strategies from baseline to 24 weeks and that active coping was associated with a significant improvement in QOL and depression. For the full article, visit Oncology Nurse Advisor magazine here.
On May 5th, 2017, psychiatric oncology clinicians and researchers from the Cancer Outcomes Research Program at Mass General Hospital joined with oncologists, community mental health clinicians, patients, caregivers, advocates, and policy-makers in the first annual symposium dedicated to promoting equity in cancer care for patients with serious mental illness. Thank you to the Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center and the Mass General Cancer Center for their generous sponsorship and to the 150- plus attendees who came together to foster collaboration and generate new solutions. We are excited about next year.
The American Society for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) featured the recent work of Jamie Jacobs, PhD and her CORe collaborators in both the ASCO Post and ASCO Bulletin. Dr. Jacobs’ article “Treatment Satisfaction and Adherence to Oral Chemotherapy in Patients With Cancer,” published in April’s Journal of Oncology Practice, presents the findings from a single-group, observational study of medication-taking behaviors in patients with diverse solid and hematologic malignancies. Jacobs et al. report that “improved satisfaction with clinician communication and treatment was the most robust predictor of better adherence” in patients receiving oral anticancer medication. Learn more about Dr. Jacobs’ important findings regarding the predictors of adherence to oral chemotherapies here.
Jennifer Temel, MD was one of eight MGH research faculty selected by the MGH Executive Committee on Research as a 2017 Research Scholar. The MGH Research Scholars Program provides funding for her to continue her visionary research on integrating palliative care for patients with serious cancers. Dr. Temel’s proposal was selected from 76 other applications by MGH researchers. The Massachusetts General Hospital Research Scholars program provides “forward-thinking researchers with the funding they need to take their work into new and uncharted territories.” Congratulations to Jennifer for this prestigious recognition and exciting award!
Drs. Irwin and Greer will present to clinicians, patients, families, and policy makers at the upcoming symposium, “Mental Illness and Cancer: Bridging the Divide.” This community engagement event will be held Friday, May 5, 2017 from 12pm to 5pm at the Wyndam Beacon Hill, down the street from the MGH main campus. This event will include other speakers from the MGH Cancer Center and Psychiatry department, as well as local representatives from the Department of Mental Health. In addition to a lunch panel with patient and caregiver stories and plenary presentations, the event will include active break-out sessions on barriers to care, end of life care, and caregiver resilience. To register for this event, please click here.
Molly Ream, a clinical research coordinator with the Cancer Outcomes Research Program, will be running the 2017 Boston Marathon as part of the MGH Pediatric Hematology Oncology Team. She was recently featured in a video series from the team called “Why I Run,” where she discusses what drives her to run for MGH, as well as her time with CORe. Watch Molly's video here.
Visit Molly's fundraising page to learn more about her marathon journey with the MGH team.
Through the Department of Psychiatry, the Cancer Outcomes Research Program at the Massachusetts General Hospital is recruiting a full-time Clinical Research Coordinator to join its multidisciplinary team. Working with a diverse group of oncologists, psychiatrists, psychologists, advanced practice nurses and other specialists, the clinical research coordinator will assist collaborative studies in supportive oncology. Study topics include: palliative care; symptom management; survivorship; behavioral health and self care; health disparities and inequities; and cancer prevention and screening. The clinical research coordinator will assume responsibility for study coordination. This role includes: recruiting patients in oncology clinics and/or inpatient units; administering screening instruments, interviews, and surveys with patients; managing data; corresponding with the IRB and other regulatory groups; assisting with preparation of manuscripts, protocols, and grants; and completing other special projects in collaboration with CORe principal investigators. For more information and to apply online, please visit https://partners.taleo.net/careersection/1/jobdetail.ftl?job=3033602. Specific inquiries can be made to Molly Ream and Emily Wright.
Jennifer Temel, MD was presented with the prestigious 2017 “Award for Excellence in Scientific Research in Palliative Care” by the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine (AAHPM) for her many contributions to the scientific research in the field of hospice and palliative care. Dr. Temel is the fourteenth awardee to be presented with this annual designation, and is recognized for her dedication and accomplishments in palliative care research. Congratulations, Jennifer!
Jennifer Temel, MD and CORe collaborator William Pirl, MD, MPH were honored with the “Outstanding Education and Training” award by the American Psychosocial Oncology Society during the society’s annual meeting in Orlando, FL this year. Dr. Temel and Dr. Pirl of the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Miami’s Miller School of Medicine were recognized for their efforts in organizing the MGH Workshop on Research Methods in Supportive Oncology. Drs. Temel and Pirl have hosted the National Cancer Institute-funded workshop for early-career investigators for the last three years at the MGH main campus in Boston. The intensive 6-day workshop trains junior investigators in essential methods in supportive oncology research and provides mentorship for writing an entire research protocol/proposal. The program boasts 108 graduates as of February 2017 and in addition to the outstanding evaluations received from participants, attendees have been significantly more likely to secure research funding after the workshop. Congratulations, Jennifer and Bill!
Several members of the Cancer Outcomes Research Program attended the 14th annual American Psychosocial Oncology Society (APOS) conference in Orlando, FL from February 16-18, 2017. The theme of the 2017 conference was “Psychosocial Cancer Care across the Lifespan: Achieving Equity in Psychosocial Oncology from Pediatrics to Geriatrics.” Faculty members Joe Greer, PhD, Kelly Irwin, MD, Jamie Jacobs, PhD, Elyse Park, PhD, MPH, and Giselle Perez, PhD, presented original research and oral presentations. Dr. Park served as chair for a symposium entitled “Inequities in Tobacco Treatment for Cancer Patients: Who is Not Getting Care and Why?” during which Dr. Irwin (“Tobacco Treatment for Patients with Severe Mental Illness and Cancer,”) Dr. Perez (“Smoking Cessation Program Needs Among Black and Hispanic Cancer Patients,”) and Dr. Park (“Tobacco Assistance for Recently Diagnosed Cancer Patients: Who Does Not Receive Assistance?”) discussed their research and experiences at MGH. Dr. Greer served as chair for the symposium, “Incorporating the Patient’s Voice in Psycho-Oncology Research,” and Dr. Jacobs presented her work, “Patient, Family, and Stakeholder Engagement in a PCORI-Funded Study.” Dr. Irwin presented her innovative original research, “Proactive Psychiatry Consultation for Patients with Severe Mental Illness and Cancer: A Pilot Study” during a podium session. Research assistants Lauren Fields, Emily Friedman, and Julia Rabin were also in attendance and presented abstracts at the poster session. Ms. Fields’ poster, “Tailoring Research Design for Patients with Severe Mental Illness and Cancer” was awarded “Best Student Poster” at the conference. Congratulations, Lauren!
For the third year in a row, Dr. Temel and the faculty of CORe hosted junior investigators from around the world for a week-long intensive workshop in supportive oncology research. Funded by the National Cancer Institute (NCI), the workshop provides an overview of fundamental methods in supportive oncology research, such as study designs, qualitative and survey methods, and approaches to data analysis. This year’s workshop included 37 participants from 27 different institutions, who contributed to the 108 graduates of the workshop since its inception in 2015. Participants included oncologists, psychologists, nurses, social workers, and others. The 2018 workshop will be held in Boston January 28th - February 3rd of 2018, and the 2019 workshop has already been scheduled for January 13th – 18th of that year. Information on applications and deadlines for the 2018 workshop will be made available in the near future.
The ASCO Palliative Care in Oncology Symposium 2016 (PallOnc) was held from September 9-10 in San Francisco, CA, and the Cancer Outcomes Research Program was well-represented throughout the conference. Faculty members Jennifer Temel, Areej El-Jawahri, Joseph Greer, and Ryan Nipp each presented original research posters at the meeting. Additionally, Dr. Temel, Dr. El-Jawahri, and Dr. Greer each gave oral presentations about their ground-breaking work throughout the weekend.
Dr. Temel discussed the difficulties of prognostication for patients undergoing immunotherapy. To hear Dr. Temel talk more about her work, watch this video from the ASCO Post.
Dr. Greer presented the results of a randomized trial of early integrated palliative and oncology care. He also participated in a panel describing his experience developing mobile technology for novel interventions in supportive care. To hear Dr. Greer talk more about his work, watch this video from the ASCO Post.
Dr. El-Jawahri presented the results of two studies: a randomized trial of an inpatient palliative care intervention for hematopoeitic stem transplant patients, as well as the effects of early integrated palliative care on family caregivers for patients with advanced cancer. She also discussed palliative care integration into hematologic malignancy treatment. To hear Dr. El-Jawahri talk more about her work, watch this video from the ASCO Post.
Research coordinators Sarah Fishman and Harry VanDusen also presented original research posters at the meeting. Additionally, Mr. VanDusen gave an oral presentation about the effect of inpatient integrated palliative on family caregivers for patients hospitalized for hematopoietic stem cell transplantation.
To learn more about the CORe research presented at PallOnc 2016, feel free to click on the links below for each faculty member and research coordinator:
CORe post-doctoral fellow Jamie Jacobs, PhD, will speak at the NCI Network on Biobehavioral Pathways in Cancer Capstone Meeting on September 16th, 2016 in Rockville, Maryland. She will be presenting a talk entitled “A Randomized Controlled Trial of Cognitive-Behavioral Stress Management in Breast Cancer: Survival and Recurrence at 11-year Follow-up.”
In the weeks leading up to ASCO Palliative Care in Oncology Symposium 2016, the ASCO Post interviewed CORe faculty member Vicki Jackson, MD. Dr. Jackson, who serves as the MGH Chief of Palliative Care and Geriatrics, discussed integrating early palliative medicine into oncology care. For the full article, visit the ASCO Post here.
Areej El-Jawahri, MD took some time to speak with OncLive TV about a recent study from the Cancer Outcomes Research Program that investigated the effects of an early integrated palliative care intervention in advanced cancer patients and their family caregivers. The randomized controlled trial found that family caregivers of patients with newly diagnosed advanced lung and GI cancers who were assigned to the early palliative care intervention experienced improved quality of life as well as improved depression symptoms. Dr. El-Jawahri explains that this study is the first to show these results in family caregivers. Watch the video here.
The Massachusetts General Physicians Organization (MGPO) monthly newsletter, The Fruit Street Physician, recognized the work of the Cancer Outcomes Research Program in its July/August 2016 edition. The article (“Early Palliative Care Improves Outcomes for Seriously Ill Patients”) describes the findings from Dr. Temel’s 2010 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, which showed that the early integration of palliative care in patients recently diagnosed with advanced lung cancer improved quality of life, lowered rates of depression, and improved survival. The article goes on to present the findings of a new study led by Areej El-Jawahri, MD, which showed that early palliative care for patients undergoing hematopoietic stem cell transplantation improved symptoms, quality of life, depression, and anxiety. Read more here.
In an interview with Medscape Medical News, Ryan Nipp, MD, explained the findings of a recent study conducted by investigators from CORe and published in the July issue of Cancer. The study analyzed associations between coping strategies, QOL, and mood in 350 patients enrolled in a randomized trial of palliative care at MGH. The findings describe that the majority of patients reported high utilization of emotional support coping (77.0%) as compared to acceptance (44.8%), self-blame (37.9%), and denial (28.2%). The use of emotional support and acceptance coping strategies correlated with better QOL and mood, whereas the use of denial and self-blame negatively correlated with these outcomes. The authors suggest that future interventions targeted to improve patients' QOL and mood should aim to develop adaptive coping strategies. Click here to read full published article in the July issue of Cancer.
The Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) was held from June 3-7 in Chicago, IL, and the Cancer Outcomes Research Program was well-represented throughout the conference. Faculty members Jennifer Temel, Jeffrey Peppercorn, Areej El-Jawahri, and Ryan Nipp each presented original research posters at the meeting. Additionally, Dr. Temel and Dr. El-Jawahri each gave oral presentations about their ground-breaking work in palliative care integration during the Patient and Survivor Care oral abstract session. Dr. Temel also was a presenter during the education session “Optimizing Palliative and End-of-Life Care: Evidence-Based Practice Improvement.” Her presentation was titled “Evidence-Based Strategies to Facilitate Prognostic Awareness in Patients with Advanced Cancer.” To hear Dr. Temel talk more about her work, watch this video from the ASCO Post.
To learn more about the CORe research presented at ASCO 2016, feel free to click on the links below for each faculty member:
Boston Magazine and the Mass General Cancer Center recently promoted CORe faculty member Dr. Kelly Irwin’s work for patients with severe mental illness and cancer. Her collaborative care program aims to address the challenges with treating this underserved population. Read the article and learn more about her passionate work here.
The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) shared the exciting findings of a recent study led by the investigators from the Cancer Outcomes Research Program. The study suggests that caregivers of patients with incurable lung and gastrointestinal cancers benefit from the patient’s enrollment in early palliative care. The caregivers of patients receiving early palliative care reported significantly lower depression symptoms as compared to their standard care counterparts. Other areas of improvement in caregivers of those receiving early palliative care were vitality and social functioning, which decreased for caregivers of patients receiving standard care. Lead study author Areej El-Jawahri, MD will present the research at ASCO’s annual meeting on June 6th in Chicago. For more information, visit the ASCO Post web page.
Susan A. Slaugenhaupt, PhD, scientific director of the MGH Research Institute, highlighted the work of Teresa Hagan, RN, PhD in the May newsletter, “From the Lab Bench.” Dr. Hagan, who was awarded the Heilbrunn Nurse Scholar Award for early career nurse scientists, is in the process of developing a video game which aims to help women with cancer practice self-advocacy. Her “serious” video game depicts real-life decisions and their consequences as a tool for boosting patient engagement and empowerment in women's cancer care. To learn more about Dr. Hagan’s research, head to the MGH Research Institute’s web page.
CORe principle investigator Ryan Nipp, MD was one of five oncology researchers awarded Young Investigators Grants by The NCCN (National Comprehensive Cancer Network) Foundation. The awards provide grants of $150,000 over a two-year period for research initiatives focused on assessing and improving outcomes in cancer care. Congratulations, Ryan!
Dr. Kelly Irwin has been invited to present her research at Grand Rounds at the Lemuel Shattuck Hospital in Boston, MA on Tuesday April 5th. Her talk is entitled, “Improving Cancer Outcomes for People with Severe Mental Illness” and will highlight preliminary findings from her pilot study in proactive psychiatric consultation and case management for patients with mental illness who have been diagnosed with cancer.
Two CORe principle investigators, Giselle Perez, PhD and Lara Traeger, PhD, recently received the 2016 MGH American Cancer Society Institutional Research Grant Awards. Dr. Perez’s proposal is entitled “Promoting Stress Management and Resilience Among Lymphoma Survivors Transitioning off Treatment.” Dr. Traeger’s proposal is entitled “Identifying Critical Elements Of Real-Time Discussions Between Providers, Patients And Families At The End Of Life.” Congratulations, Giselle and Lara!
Areej El-Jawahri, MD was selected to present her research, “Association of Pre-Transplant Depression with Clinical Outcomes and Resource Utilization after Allogeneic Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation” at the 2016 BMT Tandem Meetings in Honolulu, HI on February 20, 2016. Dr. El-Jawahri’s presentation was one of six that had been identified as the “BMT Tandem’s Best Abstracts.”
January 28th-February 3rd 2018, Boston, MA
This NCI-funded intensive 6-day workshop will provide an overview of fundamental methods, such as study designs, qualitative and survey methods, and approaches to data analysis in supportive oncology research. Over the course of the workshop, participants will write a complete study protocol under the direct mentorship of expert faculty in the field of supportive oncology. Participants will continue to receive assistance after the workshop from their workshop mentors to help in the implementation of their studies at their home institutions.
Jennifer Temel, MD and William Pirl, MD, MPH will co-chair the workshop with a multidisciplinary team of faculty including: Joseph Greer, PhD; Elyse Park, PhD, MPH; Steven Safren, PhD; Lara Traeger, PhD; Lisa Wood, PhD, BSN and others.
Please visit www.mghworkshop2017.com for more details about the workshop and the application process.
Please contact Lauren Fields (firstname.lastname@example.org) with any further questions or inquiries.
UPDATE: The application cycle for 2017 is now closed. Please stay tuned for more details on how to apply to the 2018 workshop
Cancer Outcomes Research Program 55 Fruit StreetYawkey Center for Outpatient Care, Suite 10B Boston, Massachusetts, 02114 Email: MGHCORe@partners.org
A gift may be made to the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center in support of the Cancer Outcomes Research Program (CORe). Gifts can be made online here or mailed to the MGH Development Office, attention: Meagan Coons, 125 Nashua Street, Suite 540, Boston, MA 02114. Checks should be made payable to MGH Cancer Center. Please reference fund 222448.
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