Pediatrician honored for career in improving life for survivors of childhood cancer

Anna T. Meadows, M.D., of The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, will receive the 2006 Pediatric Oncology Award from the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) at its annual meeting in Atlanta on Saturday, June 3. Dr. Meadows, nationally recognized as a leading researcher in cancer survivorship, will also deliver a lecture at the meeting, "Cancer Survivors: Childhood and Beyond."

ASCO, which describes itself as the world's leading professional organization representing physicians who treat people with cancer, presents this award to an individual who has contributed outstanding scientific work to the future of pediatric oncology.

Dr. Meadows is the medical director of the Cancer Survivorship Program at Children's Hospital. She also is a professor of Pediatrics at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, where she leads both the Cancer Survivorship Research Program and the Lance Armstrong Foundation Living Well After Cancer Program at Penn's Abramson Cancer Center.

Dr. Meadows is nationally recognized as an expert in the after-effects of children's cancer. Starting in the mid-1970s, Dr. Meadows and her colleagues at Children's Hospital were the first researchers to investigate the late effects of childhood cancer. Their studies showed that brain radiation then used to treat children with leukemia damaged the children's cognitive development and increased their risk of later brain cancer. That research helped to change medical practice, as physicians eliminated or reduced the doses of radiation to the head as part of the treatment regimen for childhood leukemia.

As medical advances over the past 30 years dramatically improved survival rates in childhood cancer, the number of survivors of childhood cancer has expanded to some 250,000 Americans. Those survivors often have specialized medical needs related to their experience, such as organ damage, second cancers, impaired fertility and long-term psychological trauma.

Contact: John Ascenzi
Children's Hospital of Philadelphia

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