Dr. TravisDr. Travis

IU’s Cancer Survivorship Research Program combines population science and basic and clinical research to prevent later consequences of therapy. The program continues to concentrate on decreasing cisplatin’s adverse side effects by mining the world’s largest database of testis cancer patient outcomes. It’s goal is to develop personalized approaches for future patients to improve post-treatment quality of life.

While 95 percent of testis cancer patients are cured, the combination of cisplatin and other drugs that saves them can leave behind lingering side effects. These include hearing loss, pain and numbness in extremities, a higher risk for other cancers, and even cardiovascular disease. Recruited by Dr. Einhorn, IU’s Lois Travis, M.D., SC.D., believes that a cure shouldn’t come at the expense of a patient’s quality of life.

Travis, an internationally recognized expert on survivorship, oversees The Platinum Study, a global consortium of researchers trying to understand the toll of cisplatin. The group has already linked hearing loss to the total dose a patient receives. Some patients also have variants in their genes that leave them more susceptible to cisplatin-induced tinnitus and neuropathy. 

While oncologists will continue to use platinum-based drugs, Travis’ work can help determine which patients are at risk of experiencing the worst long-term side effects. 

“What we learn will help millions of patients around the world,” Travis said. 

Give Now Cancer Survivorship Research Program: Gifts will support population science, basic & clinical research leading to a better understanding and prevention of consequences of therapy at the Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Comprehensive Cancer Center. 

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