Inaugural symposium brings together leading experts in cancer survivorship

The UF Health Cancer Center hosted the inaugural Southeastern Cancer Survivorship Symposium on Nov. 9. The educational symposium provided the opportunity to learn more about holistic, patient-centered cancer research that supports individuals through their cancer journey, as well as cancer research funding opportunities. 

The UF Health Cancer Center’s inaugural Southeastern Cancer Survivorship Symposium on Nov. 9 was organized by Raymond Mailhot, M.D., left, and Erin Mobley, Ph.D., right. Keynote speakers included Sharon Castellino, M.D., MSc, second from left, and Lisa Kahalley, Ph.D.

The event was organized by Erin Mobley, Ph.D., an assistant professor in the department of surgery in the UF College of Medicine – Jacksonville, and Raymond Mailhot, M.D., a clinical assistant professor in the UF department of radiation oncology, who are both members of the UF Health Cancer Center’s Cancer Control and Population Sciences research program. Three prominent experts in the field gave keynote talks, and participants had the opportunity to engage in breakout sessions for more focused discussions. 

Keynote speakers were Michelle Mollica, Ph.D., M.P.H., R.N., O.C.N., deputy director of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) Office of Cancer Survivorship who gave a presentation on survivorship research and funding at the NCI; Sharon Castellino, M.D., MSc, a professor in the department of pediatrics at Emory University School of Medicine who discussed optimizing survival in child and adolescent cancer; and Lisa Kahalley, Ph.D., a professor in the department of pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine whose presented on neurocognitive sparing with proton radiotherapy in pediatric neuro-oncology. 

Cancer survivorship is a multidimensional and evolving field that focuses on improving the quality of life and addressing the unique needs of individuals from the time they are diagnosed with cancer until the end of their life. 

By providing a forum to discuss new research in the field, the symposium aimed to foster a dialogue and stimulate new collaborations to advance research.

“Not only were we able to learn about the innovative work led by Drs. Castellino and Kahalley, but we were also able to discuss active research and funding opportunities at the National Cancer Institute with Dr. Mollica,” Mobley said. “We look forward to continuing to host this event annually, bringing together clinicians, researchers, administrators, survivors and caregivers.”