September 2013

Cancer Support at UNC for Your Patients:

Comprehensive Cancer Support Program at UNC Lineberger


The Comprehensive Cancer Support Program (CCSP) provides clinical and educational programs for cancer patients and their caregivers and a world-class training and research site for health care professionals who work with cancer patients.

CCSP offers a variety of programs and services for cancer survivors including:

  • counseling
  • symptom management
  • psychiatric and psychological assessment and treatment
  • survivorship clinics
  • lymphedema therapy
  • integrative medicine consults
  • yoga, acupuncture, and art workshops
  • a cancer transitions series
  • nutrition consults
  • integrative health coaching 

If one of your patients is interested in any of the cancer support services or programs provided at UNC, call 919-966-3494 for more information. Additional information is also available at

The Fathers and Mothers with Cancer study

The Fathers and Mothers with Cancer (FAMC) study is the first mixed-methods study of parents with metastatic cancer who have dependent children. Cancer patients with dependent children report higher levels of depression and anxiety, are less likely to engage in advance care planning, and experience worse quality of life prior to death compared to cancer patients without children.

In this pilot cohort study, we will conduct detailed evaluations of 60 patients with stage IV cancer who are parents of dependent children. Clinical investigators from psychiatry, palliative medicine, nursing and oncology will employ qualitative and quantitative methods to assess the palliative and supportive care needs of these patients. The specific aims are to:

  1. Describe physical and psychosocial distress experienced by parents with advanced cancer.
  2. Compare psychosocial and physical distress between parents with newly diagnosed versus established and progressive metastatic disease.
  3. Identify principal targets for a subsequent tailored supportive care intervention for advanced cancer patients who are parents of dependent children.

This study will allow us to better understand the palliative and supportive care needs of this important and underserved population. For more information about the study contact Dr. Eliza (Leeza) Park at 919-966-3494 or

Dr. Park is a clinical assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry at UNC. She completed her adult psychiatry residency at the Harvard Longwood Psychiatry Residency Training Program in Boston, MA. She then pursued a fellowship in Psychosomatic Medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital/Harvard Medical School. She primarily serves as a psychiatrist for the Comprehensive Cancer Support Program. Her clinical and research interests include psycho-oncology, women's health, psychosomatic medicine and residency education.

Dr. Park supervises a weekly outpatient clinic at Carolina Pointe II that provides psychiatric assessment and management of individuals with cancer. For more information, call 919-966-3494.

Survivorship research: LIVESTRONG studies

In addition to clinical and supportive services, CCSP and the UNC Survivorship Program participate in several research initiatives, including the LIVESTRONG Survivorship Center of Excellence Network (LSSCOEN). The network consists of the following seven NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers: UNC- Chapel Hill, Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center. Abramson Cancer Center, University of Pennsylvania, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center Survivorship Program, UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, and University of Colorado Cancer Center. Current LIVESTRONG-sponsored studies include:

-- Evaluating treatment summaries and survivorship care plans within the network:

The study's Phase I goals were to facilitate survivorship care planning intervention refinement and outcome metric development within the LSSCOEN with respect to the Institute of Medicine's (IOM) recommended standards. Phase II goals were to describe feasibility, provider and system processes, and patient responses to the delivery of treatment summaries and survivorship care plans across the network.

-- Use of patient reported outcomes in facilitating survivorship care and determining risk of adverse outcomes in survivors:

The goal of this study is to standardize patient reported outcomes across all seven Centers of Excellence and evaluate the extent to which patient reported outcomes facilitate survivorship care. Phase I goals are to determine feasibility, usability and clinician and survivor satisfaction with an internet based, comprehensive PRO assessment. In Phase II, the outcome effects of providing the PRO summary to providers prior to clinic visit will be compared with usual care on survivor outcomes of emotional distress, survivorship knowledge, symptoms and health behaviors.

-- Survivorship study for young adults with cancer:

The goal of this study is to develop a LIVESTRONG young adult (YA) cohort of survivors between the ages of 18 and 39 years that will form the basis for investigations that will 1) test the impact of providing the essential elements of survivorship care, 2) provide evidence that will support long term follow-up recommendations for this population, 3) determine effective methods of communication with the YA survivor population and 4) serve as a platform for interventions that will improve outcomes and quality of life in YA survivors.

For more information about the LIVESTRONG Survivorship research contact Elizabeth Sherwood, RN, MS, ANP at 919-843-5069 or

Get REAL & HEEL joins the CCSP Family

To complement the existing programs in CCSP and offer more programs to our patients, the Get REAL & HEEL program joined the CCSP family in early 2013. Get REAL & HEEL is a unique program designed to serve breast cancer patients in North Carolina. Get REAL & HEEL integrates individualized prescriptive exercise with an education component delivered by CCSP affiliated professionals in different areas of wellness to provide patients with tools to positively impact their physical and psychological well-being.

Get REAL & HEEL has helped hundreds of breast cancer patients across North Carolina since its inception in 2006. Dr. Battaglini, an Associate Professor in the Department of Exercise and Sport Science, brought the program to UNC after adapting the concept from the Rocky Mountain Cancer Rehabilitation institute (RMCRI) in Colorado, where Dr. Battaglini was one of the institute's student founders.

All patients enrolled in Get REAL & HEEL work with personal trainers with certified exercise specialists with oncology expertise, and a variety of CCSP health care professionals who provide psychosocial interventions, counseling, and education on nutrition and stress management.

"Exercise and participation in activities aimed to assist patients to manage their stress along with education regarding wellness have been shown to assist patients in the mitigation of many side-effects commonly developed during treatment," Battaglini said. "The most significant improvements, according to program outcome evaluations, are improvements in overall body strength, mood, and quality of life. There is a tremendous impact from the program activities on the overall cancer experience, thus helping patients to go through the cancer survivorship process experiencing less intense treatment-related side-effects and consequently living a better quality of life."

For more information about the Get REAL & HEAL program, visit



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UNC Lineberger   N.C. Cancer Hospital   Clinical Trials   Clinical Programs   Comprehensive Cancer Support


For questions about all clinical trials at UNC, contact the UNC Lineberger Protocol Office at 919-966-4432 or (toll-free) 1-877-668-0683. For questions about clinical trials offered at other sites, contact the UNC Cancer Network at 919-966-7359 or (toll-free) 1-877-668-0683.


To make an appointment at the N.C. Cancer Hospital for one of your patients, visit our web page for referring physicians. You may also contact the Carolina Consultation Center at 1-800-862-6264.