​​​​The CHOICE Study Opens at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC)

Most of us know Memorial Sloan Kettering in New York City as the first cancer hospital in the United States. Results from the 2015-16 US News & World Report rankings of cancer centers place Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) at #2 nationwide in adult cancer care.  MSKCC’s Bendheim Integrative Medicine Center, “offers a wide range of services designed to enhance quality of life, increase self-awareness, and help prevent and manage a broad range of physical and emotional symptoms”, according to its web page. This is the location where Dr. Jun Mao, Principal Investigator of the CHOICE Study, and now Chief of Integrative Medicine at MSKCC, has based the CHOICE Study’s second site.

Establishing this second site involved a regulatory review process (from December 2015 - June 2016), which involved departments such as Involved Medicine, Behavioral Medicine, Biostatistics, Research Council, and the Internal Review Board. This culminated in the grant transfer from Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI). This process took a while, and the CHOICE Study was in its launching phase for a few months.

Establishing a second study site allows the CHOICE Study to reach an even greater population of cancer survivors, and from a far wider geographical region (reaching now from the Greater Philadelphia area into New Jersey, New York City and its suburbs, which include parts of Connecticut). Studying survivors from such a large swath of the Mid-Atlantic region will allow study conclusions to be more widely applicable, and will provide a wider cancer support community network for disseminating results of the study.

 This quote from MSKCC’s Integrative Medicine Service summarizes the objective of the CHOICE Study’s integrative oncology goals: “Through our research - and years of working with cancer patients - we know that these therapies can often help in controlling cancer-related symptoms and side effects while simultaneously rebuilding physical and emotional strength.” As the CHOICE Study progresses at MSKCC, we wish Dr. Mao and his research team great success, and look forward to future updates.

Recruitment has now begun for the CHOICE Study at MSKCC! The goal is to enroll 40 study participants from MSKCC (to be included in the study total of 160). So far, at least two of those 40 have been enrolled, and more are scheduled for baseline evaluation. To help complete the remainder of the recruitment phase, Dr. Mao and his research team will present the CHOICE Study to oncologists treating various cancer types, and to the Patient and Family Advisory Council for Quality at MSK. Many referrals of possible participants have already come from physicians  at MSKCC.