This webinar featured the work of 2021-2022 NCI/AcademyHealth Healthcare Delivery Research Visiting Scholar, Dr. Virginia Sun, who presented findings from her project on NIH-funded studies focused on cancer and aging. Dr. Ashley Wilder Smith from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) provided opening remarks and Dr. Supriya Gupta Mohile from the University of Rochester served as a discussant.

Project Overview

The number of older adults in the United States is growing. Fueled by the growing aging population, cancer incidence is projected to increase; this represents an enormous public health problem among older Americans. The anticipated demographic shift highlights the urgent need for attention to the geriatric oncology population. Older adults undergoing cancer treatments are at increased risk for frailty, declines in physiologic reserves, accelerated aging, and functional impairments. These clinical challenges are compounded by systems-related trends, including low uptake of evidence-based geriatric oncology care. Dr. Sun’s project, in collaboration with NCI staff, included a portfolio search of NIH-funded studies focused on cancer and aging, and the development of a framework that is inclusive of multi-level aspects of cancer care delivery for older adults with cancer across diverse settings.

Learning Objectives

By the conclusion of this webinar, participants:

  • Understood the current funding landscape for older adults with cancer and their families/informal caregivers.
  • Described key components of healthcare delivery research that addresses the multilevel (patient, clinician, healthcare system) aspects of evidence-based cancer care delivery in geriatric oncology.

Glossary Terms

Healthcare Delivery Research in Oncology: The study of cancer care, the factors influencing care, and outcomes of care.

Webinar Recording

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Speaker List


Virginia Sun Headshot
Member, Researcher

Virginia Sun, Ph.D., R.N.

Associate Professor - City of Hope

Dr. Sun is an Associate Professor in the Department of Population Sciences and the Department of Surgery at Ci... Read Bio

Opening Remarks:



margo headshot

Margo Edmunds, Ph.D.

Vice President, Evidence Generation and Translation - AcademyHealth

As Vice President for Evidence Generation and Translation, Dr. Margo Edmunds leads AcademyHealth's portfolios ... Read Bio

Closing Remarks:

janet demoor headshot

Janet de Moor, Ph.D., M.P.H.

Deputy Associate Director - National Cancer Institute

Janet S. de Moor is the Deputy Associate Director of the Healthcare Delivery Research Program (HDRP) at the Na... Read Bio

About the NCI/AcademyHealth Healthcare Delivery Research Visiting Scholars Program

The NCI/AcademyHealth Healthcare Delivery Research Visiting Scholars Program offers mid-career scientists a year-long, funded part-time opportunity to pursue projects at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) in Rockville, Maryland. Scholars are expected to lead a project of their own design and to collaborate with NCI staff on at least one other project. As a benefit of the program, scholars have the opportunity to present their research findings during a poster session at AcademyHealth’s Annual Research meeting and via a public webinar.

The Visiting Scholar(s) are housed in NCI’s Healthcare Delivery Research Program (HDRP), whose mission is to advance innovative research to improve the delivery of cancer-related care. HDRP accomplishes this work through its three Branches: the Healthcare Assessment Research Branch, Health Systems and Interventions Research Branch, and Outcomes Research Branch. Additionally, HDRP works to advance research in several cross-cutting areas of high scientific priority, including, but not limited to, applying digital health technology and telehealth to improve cancer care delivery; identifying economic drivers of high-value, evidence-based care and addressing the impact of cancer costs on patient outcomes; and identifying organizational and other healthcare system level factors that reinforce systemic racism and promote medical mistrust and evaluating the impact of these factors on cancer care.

More information about HDRP, including current research and funding initiatives, is available on their website.  

Interested in becoming a scholar? Please add your information to the interest list or contact AcademyHealth staff for information on when the next cycle will open.