Dr. Jennifer S. Temel to Receive Walther Cancer Foundation Palliative and Supportive Care in Oncology Endowed Award and Lecture from ASCO

Jun 13, 2018

ASCO will honor Jennifer S. Temel, MD, a thoracic oncologist and palliative care expert, with its Walther Cancer Foundation Palliative and Supportive Care in Oncology Endowed Award and Lecture. Dr. Temel will accept her award and present a keynote lecture at the 2018 Palliative and Supportive Care in Oncology Symposium taking place November 16-17, in San Diego, California.

“This award draws attention to the true power of palliative and supportive care. Despite being a relatively new investigative area, there are tremendous benefits to integrating this type of care into the standard cancer care system,” Dr. Temel said. “It is a great privilege to be recognized by the Walther Cancer Foundation as a leader in this field. I am proud to work in a research area that continues to evolve and show its immense value to the oncology care continuum.”

Dr. Temel is a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, clinical director of Thoracic Oncology at the Massachusetts General Hospital, director of Cancer Outcomes Research at the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center, and co-leader of the Dana Farber/Harvard Cancer Center Outcomes Research Program. 

Endowed by the Walther Cancer Foundation, this award and lecture was established to recognize a distinguished lecturer and leader with multiple, significant, and enduring contributions to palliative and supportive care in oncology through the prevention, assessment and management of cancer- and treatment-related suffering.

The Walther Cancer Foundation is a private foundation that supports and promotes interdisciplinary and inter-institutional bench and clinical cancer research, with a special commitment to supportive oncology. The foundation’s goal is to help build cancer programs that provide tangible benefits by expanding the world’s scientific knowledge, by saving lives and by offering hope to patients and their families.

“We commend Dr. Temel for her years of innovative contributions to the field of palliative care,” said Thomas W. Grein, president and CEO, Walther Cancer Foundation, Inc. “It is with dedicated researchers like Dr. Temel that supportive and palliative care continues to improve and be integrated more widely into standard oncology care. The Walther Cancer Foundation greatly values its partnership with ASCO to support such essential endeavors.”

Dr. Temel’s research focuses on palliative care, symptom management, and patient-clinician communication, specifically about the goals of cancer treatment and patients’ preferences for care at the end of life. A major interest of hers is the study of early, integrated palliative care for people with advanced cancers.

Notably, Dr. Temel’s novel research on including the early integration of palliative care in the ambulatory care setting was published in the New England Journal of Medicine and the Journal of Clinical Oncology. In this landmark study funded by ASCO's Conquer Cancer Foundation, Dr. Temel and her fellow researchers found that palliative care can extend one’s life and improve survival. These findings led to an evidence-based clinical guidance recommending the expanded use of palliative care for patients with metastatic cancer and high symptom burden. In January 2011, ASCO issued a new policy statement which recommends steps to ensure that physicians initiate candid discussions about the full range of treatment and palliative care options soon after patients' diagnosis with advanced cancer. Later that year, ASCO issued clinical guidance to help oncologists initiate these conversations and better integrate palliative therapy into oncology practice.

A 16-year member of ASCO, Dr. Temel was a 2005 Conquer Cancer Career Development Award recipient, served as chair of the 2015 Palliative Care in Oncology Symposium Steering Committee, and continues to serve on numerous other ASCO committees.

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