CRITICAL MASS CONFERENCE 2014 – why we do what we do

I had the pleasure of attending the Critical Mass Conference in Denver two weeks ago. The conference was fantastic!!! There’s nothing like being with a group of like minded people so dedicated to finding better ways to treat and cure AYA Cancer!!

Oncologists, nurses, social scientists and workers all banded together with a common goal: Collaborate to Cure Cancer!!

Many of the conference leaders are YA Cancer survivors who know first hand what it means to be part of a unique group of individuals considered to be “the least likely to survive their cancer.”

Like last year, the Steven G AYA Cancer Research Fund awarded six individuals for their work in either Innovative Scientific Research or Innovative Service and Programs.

Critical Mass Conference 2014, Denver, CO  SGAYA Cancer Poster Session Awardees
Critical Mass Conference 2014, Denver, CO
SGAYA Cancer Poster Session Awardees











Their names are below listed as follows:

Innovative Research and Clinical Trials

First Place – $500 Award

Author Name: Deborah Morosini, MD, MSW

(not in photo)

Abstract Title: FoundationOne’s comprehensive genomic profiling of solid tumors from 669 adolescents and young adults reveal a distinct spectrum of targetable genomic alterations.

Second Place – $300 Award

Author Name: Leonard Sender, MD

Abstract Title: A Phase II, Open-Label, Single-Arm, Multicenter, Pharmacokinetic Study of Intramuscular Asparaginase in Young Adults with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia or Lymphoblastic Lymphoma

Third Place – $150 Award

Author Name: Melanie Goldfarb, MD, MS FACS

Abstract Title: Thyroid Cancer Specific Quality of Life and Health Utility in Adolescent and Young Adult Thyroid Survivors

Innovative Programs and Services Awards

 First Place Award – $500

Author Name: Laura Mitchell, BA, BScN, MN, CON(C)

Abstract Title: Enhancing Young Adult Cancer Care: the significance of improving access to community programs

Second Place Award – $300

Author Name: Karen Fasciano, Psy.D.

Abstract Title: Development of a web-based support program for caregivers of young adults coping with cancer.

Third Place Award – $150

Author Name: Julie Kinamore

Abstract Title: An Outdoor Adventure Program for Young Adults with Cancer: Positive Effects on Body Image and Psychosocial Functioning

Congratulations to all these very talented individuals!

Last, but not least!!!

I wanted to share an email from one of last years’ recipients.

Dr. Catherine Fiona MacPherson’s  (in photo below) research  study is titled:



Link to the RESEARCH ARTICLE: feasibility acceptability of an iPad app to explore symptom clusters in AYAs with cancer_Pediatr Blood Cancer_2014

 The Computerized Symptom Capture Tool (C-SCAT): A Novel Approach to Exploring Symptoms and Symptom Clusters.

Please read an excerpt from Catherine’s message regarding the SGAYA Fund’s $500 Award impacted her research project:

...follow-up to our conversation regarding the impact of the generous award from the Steven G. AYA Cancer Research Fund which the Consortium to Study Symptoms in Adolescents with Cancer (CS2AC) received at Critical Mass 2013. 

 I have attached the paper published in Pediatric Blood and Cancer this past summer which reports the primary findings of our study evaluating the feasibility and acceptability of a novel iPad application to explore symptoms and symptom clusters in AYAs with cancer.  

The award enabled us to pay a medical illustrator to design Figure 1 which appears on page 3. 

The inclusion of this figure notably enhanced the paper by providing example images of step by step completion of the app screens to complement the text description of the same. The figure enabled us to better convey the innovation and paradigm-shifting potential of the app and generate reader interest in further use and study of it. The paper is important in that it will serve as published preliminary data to support future grant applications for clinical pilot testing of the app’s potential to empower AYAs to gain insight into and communicate their unique symptom experience.  Our award from the Steven G. AYA Cancer Research Fund therefore contributed significantly to moving forward our research agenda to positively impact symptom management for AYAs with cancer.

Again, thank you so very much, on behalf of all of us in CS2AC (cc’d on this email).  Please do not hesitate to let us know if there is ever any way in which we could assist you. Your work is vitally important to advancing research and clinical care to benefit AYAs with cancer and we would be delighted to support it in any way we can to give back in return for the support you have given us.”

-we are working hard to help others

find a better way to treat and cure aya cancer!!!-

fight! conquer!! cure!!! 




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