By Smita Bhatia, MD, MPH
2017 Cancer Survivorship Symposium Steering Committee Member
In March 1974, Dr. Anna T. Meadows (along with Dr. Giulio J. D’Angio) published a paper in Seminars of Oncology, “Late effects of cancer treatment: methods and techniques for detection.” This was the first paper to recognize that treating children with cancer had long-term consequences.
In the 42 years following the publication of this paper, Anna has made seminal discoveries in the field of cancer survivorship, authoring over 200 publications, while continuing to treat children with cancer. Her career at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) included a 10-year term as director of the Division of Oncology & Children’s Cancer Research Center (1988 to 1998). She also established specialized long-term follow-up clinics for survivors of childhood, adolescent, and young adult cancer. She served as the inaugural director of the Office of Cancer Survivorship at the National Cancer Institute from 1996 to 1999, and received the prestigious ASCO Pediatric Oncology Award and Lecture in 2006.
These are huge accomplishments, but an even more significant achievement is intangible: Anna has touched the lives of so many young investigators as a role model and a mentor. There are so many who are standing on the shoulders of this amazing giant! There are few in this world who make original discoveries by the bedside and continue to study them until a tsunami of researchers and studies follow and show that, indeed, what was observed and discovered by the one clinician is true.
In the field of cancer survivorship, that one strong person, in courage, intelligence, motivation, and focus, is our Anna and we are forever indebted to her. Please join us at the 2017 Cancer Survivorship Symposium as we honor Anna with the inaugural Ellen L. Stovall Award and Lecture for Advancement of Cancer Survivorship Care.
Dr. Bhatia is a Professor in Pediatrics and Director of the Institute for Cancer Outcomes and Survivorship at the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Medicine and a specialist in Cancer Outcomes and Survivorship at UAB and Children’s of Alabama.