Jennifer Ellis Cahill, PhD, RN
Yvonne L. Munn Center for Nursing Research, Massachusetts General Hospital
|PhD University of Texas 2013|
My research focuses on symptom experience and other patient-reported outcomes during treatment for cancer. I actively lead my own research program, in addition to collaborating with clinical teams to develop and execute studies in related areas. From a symptom-science perspective, there is significant interest in characterizing associations between symptoms and genetic factors in patients with cancer. Currently, we have initiated studies that characterize symptom and neurocognitive outcomes within the context of two genomically-guided Phase 2 trials under Dr. Priscilla Brastianos, medical oncologist and Director of the Brain Metastasis Clinic at MGH, for patients receiving targeted anticancer agents. These symptoms and QOL measurements are directly protocolized within the biopsy driven clinical trials, to allow streamlined acquisition of symptom and neurocognitive data stratified by tumor and molecular profiles. Complementary to this work, I have a national appointment as Nurse Scientist, Patient Reported Outcomes Working Group and full membership on the NCI clinical trial consortium NRG Oncology Brain Tumor Core Committee. Additionally, I was appointed Lead Investigator, Quality of Life and Patient Reported Outcomes for a national trial sponsored by the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG) Foundation.
As a clinical expert, I have written book chapters and journal articles on the care of brain tumor patients specifically and cancer patients more generally. Additionally, I have published and presented nationally on leveraging health information technology to improve symptom experience and other outcomes for brain tumor patients.
I have expertise in medical device research and development, most notably through previous work validating CTA and MRA for acute pulmonary embolism diagnosis through NHLBI-funded clinical trials collectively known as the Prospective Investigation of Pulmonary Embolism Diagnosis (PIOPED) Studies (PI: Charles Hales). I continue limited device work through collboration with the MGH Center for Innovations in Care Delivery. This includes clinical trial design for safety, feasibility, and efficacy.
My work has been supported by the NCI, NHLBI, American Cancer Society, Harvard Catalyst, Boston Children's Hospital, and multiple industry partners. Altogether, my background as a cancer nurse, combined with research training in instrument development and validation, as well as basic science training as a fellow at the National Cancer Institute, have prepared me to lead clinical trials and participate in translational research projects that aim to improve symptom recognition and remediation for cancer patients.