Aging Trajectories in Cancer Survivors


The Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences (DCCPS) is interested in better understanding the short- and long-term effects of cancer and its treatment on aging trajectories during survivorship.

Areas of Research Emphasis

  • Identification of aging phenotypes in cancer survivors and mechanisms underlying the emergent phenomena
  • Development of methodological and measurement approaches to the identification of aging trajectories during cancer survivorship
  • Development of interventions to prevent, ameliorate, or rehabilitate aging-related consequences of treatment among cancer survivors
  • Use of population-based data and existing data resources to address cancer survivorship and aging hypotheses
  • Use of patient-generated data to stratify risk, support decision-making, and optimize cancer and aging outcomes in cancer survivors
  • Implications of aging-related changes in body composition, stress, medication use, environmental exposures, oral environment, and lifestyle behaviors such as physical activity, diet, and sleep patterns for cancer risk and outcomes
  • Measurement and surveillance of biological, behavioral (e.g., energy balance), and psychosocial (e.g., depression, isolation) risk factors for multimorbidity in cancer survivors
  • Inclusion of older adults in intervention and observational studies of survivorship

Articles and Publications

Development of Exercise as Interception Therapy for Cancer: A Review. Iyengar NM, Jones LW. JAMA Oncology, 2019. DOI: 10.1001/jamaoncol.2019.2585.

The challenging landscape of cancer and aging: Charting a way forward. Sharpless N. Cancer Currents Blog, National Cancer Institute, 2018.

Breast cancer treatment and its effects on aging. Chang L, Weiner LS, Hartman SJ, Horvath S, Jeste D, Mischel PS, Kado DM. Journal of Geriatric Oncology, 2018. DOI: 10.1016/j.jgo.2018.07.010.

Premature physiologic aging as a paradigm for understanding increased risk of adverse health across the lifespan of survivors of childhood cancer. Ness KK, Kirkland JL, Gramatges MM, Wang Z, Kundu M, McCastlain K, Li-Harms X, Zhang J, Tchkonia T, Pluijm SMF, Armstrong GT. Journal of Clinical Oncology, 2018. DOI: 10.1016/j.jgo.2018.07.010.

Biology of premature ageing in survivors of cancer. Cupit-Link MC, Kirkland JL, Ness KK, Armstrong GT, Tchkonia T, LeBrasseur NK, Armedian SH, Ruddy KJ, Hashmi SK. ESMO Open, 2017. DOI: 10.1136/esmoopen-2017-000250.

Disease drivers of aging. Hodes RJ, Sierra F, Austad SN, Epel E, Neigh GN, Erlandson KM, Schafer MJ, LeBrasseur NK, Wiley C, Campisi J, Sehl ME, Scalia R, Eguchi S, Kasinath BS, Halter JB, Cohen HJ, Demark-Wahnefried W, Ahles TA, Barzilai N, Hurria A, Hunt PW. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 2016. DOI: 10.1111/nyas.13299.

Reverse geroscience: How does exposure to early diseases accelerate the age-related decline in health? Kohanski RA, Deeks SG, Gravekamp C, Halter JB, High K, Hurria A, Fuldner R, Green P, Huebner R, Macchiarini F, Sierra F. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 2016. DOI: 10.1111/nyas.13297.

Accelerated aging among cancer survivors: From pediatrics to geriatrics. Henderson TO, Ness KK, Cohen HJ.  American Society of Clinical Oncology educational book. American Society of Clinical Oncology. Annual Meeting, 2014. DOI: 10.14694/EdBook_AM.2014.34.e423.

Geroscience: Linking aging to chronic disease. Kennedy BK, Berger SL, Brunet A, Campisi J, Cuervo AM, Epel ES, Franceschi C, Lithgow GJ, Morimoto RI, Pessin JE, Rando TA, Richardson A, Schadt EE, Wyss-Coray T, Sierra F. Cell, 2014. DOI: 10.1016/j.cell.2014.10.039.

Selected Grants Funded in Areas Relevant to Aging Trajectories in Cancer Survivors

PI Name Organization Name Project Title Project Number
Ahles, Tim Sloan-Kettering Institute Cognition in Older Breast Cancer Survivors: Treatment Exposure, APOE, and Smoking 5R01CA172119-05
Carroll, Judith
Bower, Julienne

Featured Grantee profile
University of California, Los Angeles Accelerated biological aging in breast cancer and risk for cognitive and physical complaints 1R01CA237535-01
Irwin, Michael

Featured Grantee profile
University of California Los Angeles Sleep Disturbance, Inflammation, and Cellular Aging in Breast Cancer Survivors 5R01CA207130-03
Lin, Jenny Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Disease Beliefs and Cognition: Effect on Diabetes Management in Older Breast Cancer Survivors 5R01CA214491-02
Mandelblatt, Jeanne

Featured Grantee profile
Georgetown University Bio-Behavioral Research at the Intersection of Cancer and Aging 5R35CA197289-04
Mandelblatt, Jeanne

Featured Grantee profile
Georgetown University Older Breast Cancer Patients: Risk for Cognitive Decline 5R01CA129769-09
Mohile, Supriya University of Rochester Reducing Chemotherapy Toxicity in Older Adults 5R01CA177592-06
Mohile, Supriya University of Rochester Understanding Treatment Tolerability in Older Patients with Cancer
Winters-Stone, Kerri Oregon Health & Science University Preventing Falls and Frailty in Prostate Cancer Survivors: Get Fit Prostate 1R01CA222605-01A1

Funding for Aging Studies

Research Infrastructure Development for Interdisciplinary Aging Studies
PAR-18-645 (R21/R33 – Clinical Trial Optional)
Contact: Erica Breslau, Ph.D., M.P.H.

Perspectives on Cancer and Aging: The Arti Hurria Memorial Webinar Series

Dr. Arti Hurria, M.D., was a pioneer in the fields of geriatrics and oncology and a BRP grantee and collaborator. This quarterly NCI-sponsored webinar series strives to honor her legacy by creating a community of researchers dedicated to cancer and aging research and building a platform to broadly disseminate their work.

Cancer and Accelerated Aging: Advancing Research for Healthier Survivors

Strategies to Prevent or Remediate Cancer- and Treatment-Associated Aging

This initiative represents a collaboration of the National Cancer Institute, the National Institute on Aging, and representatives from cancer research institutions throughout the country. It seeks to identify scientific research needs at the intersection of cancer and aging, encourage integration of aging-related endpoints into cancer treatment and survivorship studies, and build a transdisciplinary research portfolio to optimize healthy aging for cancer survivors.

Think Tank #1: Measuring Aging and Identifying Aging Phenotypes in Cancer Survivors

July 25-26, 2018

Meeting Agenda (PDF 868 KB)
Scientific Steering Committee and Invited Speakers (PDF 1.2 MB)
Meeting Report (PDF 2.1 MB)

Think Tank #2: Strategies to Prevent or Remediate Cancer- and Treatment-Associated Aging

February 11-12, 2019

Meeting Agenda (PDF 284 KB)
Scientific Steering Committee and Invited Speakers (PDF 1.5 MB)

Strategies to prevent or remediate cancer and treatment-related aging. Guida JL, Agurs-Collins T, Ahles TA, Campisi J, Dale W, Demark-Wahnefried W, Dietrich J, Fuldner R, Gallicchio L, Green PA, Hurria A, Janelsins MC, Jhappan C, Kirkland JL, Kohanski R, Longo V, Meydani S, Mohile S, Niedernhofer LJ, Nelson C, Perna F, Schadler K, Scott JM, Schrack JA, Tracy RP, van Deursen J, Ness K. Journal of the National Cancer Institute, 2020. DOI: 10.1093/jnci/djaa060


Paige Green, Ph.D., M.P.H., F.A.B.M.R.

Paige Green, Ph.D., M.P.H., F.A.B.M.R.

CHIEF, Basic Biobehavioral and Psychological Sciences Branch

Last Updated
September 29, 2020