As one of the largest pediatric oncology programs in the US, the Aflac Cancer Survivor Program provides an opportunity to undertake state-wide, population-based clinical research projects. As Research Program Director, our goal is to better understand, detect and manage late effects of cancer therapy.  Additionally, we aim to improve our ability to educate, empower, and promote health in survivors.

A new NCI-funded initiative, led by Ann Mertens, PhD, was launched with Cancer SurvivorLink to facilitate the adoption of evidence-based guidelines for the surveillance of late effects among pediatric cancer survivors through COG clinics at the national level.

PhD Students

Blythe Ryerson, MPH, Advisor and Committee member, Division of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, Emory University. PhD awarded, 2013.

     Current position: Lead Epidemiologist, Division of Cancer Prevention and Control, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA.

Helen Chin, MPH, Research advisor and Committee member, Division of Epidemiology, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University.  PhD awarded, 2015.

     Current position: Post-doctoral fellow, National Institute National Institutes of Environmental Health Sciences, Raleigh, NC.

Kathleen Chapman Hartnett, Research advisor and Committee member, Division of Epidemiology, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University.  PhD awarded, 2017.

     Current position: EIS Fellow, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA.


Post-doctoral Students

Matt Ramirez, MD, Academic and research advisor, Division of Hematology/Oncology, Department of Pediatrics, Emory University, 2015.

     Current position: Division of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology, Nicklaus Children’s Hospital, West Palm Beach, FL.

David Siegel, MD, MPH, Academic and research advisor, Division of Hematology/Oncology, Department of Pediatrics, Emory University, 2015.

     Current position: Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) Post-Doctoral Fellow, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA.

Ashley Lanzel, MD, Research advisor, Division of Hematology/Oncology, Department of Pediatrics, Emory University, 2016.

     Current position: Fellow, Division of Hematology/Oncology, Emory University, Atlanta, GA.

Daniel Runco, MD, Academic and research advisor, Division of Hematology/Oncology, Department of Pediatrics, Emory University, current.

     Current position: Fellow, Division of Hematology/Oncology, Emory University, Atlanta, GA.

Ashley Eason, MD, Academic and research advisor, Division of Hematology/Oncology, Department of Pediatrics, Emory University, current.

     Current position: Fellow, Division of Hematology/Oncology, Emory University, Atlanta, GA.


Other – MPH Graduate Student Advising/Committees

Mechelle Claridy, Research Advisor, School of Public Health, Morehouse School of Medicine. MPH awarded, April, 2013.

Kelsey Rogowski, Research Advisor, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University, MPH awarded, April, 2015.

Ashley Daly, Research Advisor, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University, MPH awarded, April, 2016.

Zachary Owens, Research Advisor, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University, MPH awarded, April, 2017.

Kristen Howell, Research Advisor, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University, MPH awarded, April, 2018.

Risk Communication/Health Education

Williamson RS, Cherven BO, Gilleland Marchak J, Edwards P, Palgon M, Escoffery C, Meacham LR, Mertens AC. Meaningful Use of an Electronic Personal Health Record (ePHR) among Pediatric Cancer Survivors. Appl Clin Inform. 2017 Mar 15;8(1):250-264. doi: 10.4338/ACI-2016-11-RA-0189. PubMed PMID: 28293684; PubMed  Central PMCID: PMC5373768. 

Kunin-Batson A, Steele J, Mertens A, Neglia JP. A randomized controlled pilot trial of a Web-based resource to improve cancer knowledge in adolescent and young adult survivors of childhood cancer. Psychooncology. 2016 Nov;25(11):1308-1316. doi: 10.1002/pon.3956. Epub 2015 Sep 25. PubMed PMID: 26403252; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5079825.   

Cherven BO, Mertens A, Wasilewski-Masker K, Williamson R, Meacham LR. Infertility Education: Experiences and Preferences of Childhood Cancer Survivors. J Pediatr Oncol Nurs. 2016 Jul;33(4):257-64. doi: 10.1177/1043454215607342. Epub  2015 Nov 18. PubMed PMID: 26582171.   

Devine KA, Mertens AC, Whitton JA, Wilson CL, Ness KK, Gilleland Marchak J, Leisenring W, Oeffinger KC, Robison LL, Armstrong GT, Krull KR. Factors associated with physical activity among adolescent and young adult survivors of early childhood cancer: A report from the childhood cancer survivor study (CCSS). Psychooncology. 2018 Feb;27(2):613-619. doi: 10.1002/pon.4528. Epub 2017 Aug 31. PubMed PMID: 28805953; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5807155. 

Berg CJ, Stratton E, Esiashvili N, Mertens A, Vanderpool RC. Providers' Perspectives on Addressing Health Risk Behaviors and Mental Health among Young Adult Survivors of Childhood Cancer. Am J Clin Cancer Res. 2015;3(1). pii: 201500640. Epub 2015 Jun 4. PubMed PMID: 26709391; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4689431.   

 Gilleland Marchak J, Elchuri SV, Vangile K, Wasilewski-Masker K, Mertens AC,  Meacham LR. Perceptions of Infertility Risks Among Female Pediatric Cancer Survivors Following Gonadotoxic Therapy. J Pediatr Hematol Oncol. 2015 Jul;37(5):368-72. doi: 10.1097/MPH.0000000000000349. PubMed PMID: 25985237.   

Berg CJ, Stratton E, Esiashvili N, Mertens A. Young Adult Cancer Survivors' Experience with Cancer Treatment and Follow-Up Care and Perceptions of Barriers to Engaging in Recommended Care. J Cancer Educ. 2016 Sep;31(3):430-42. doi: 10.1007/s13187-015-0853-9. PubMed PMID: 25948413; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4712118.   

Berg C, Stratton E, Esiashvili N, Mertens A, Vanderpool RC. Providers' Perspectives of Survivorship Care for Young Adult Survivors of Childhood Cancer.  J Cancer Educ. 2016 Mar;31(1):31-8. doi: 10.1007/s13187-015-0848-6. PubMed PMID:  25943901; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4636969.   


Aflac Clinical Outcomes Collaboration

Siegel DA, Claridy M, Mertens A, George E, Vangile K, Simoneaux SF, Meacham LR, Wasilewski-Masker K. Risk factors and surveillance for reduced bone mineral density in pediatric cancer survivors. Pediatr Blood Cancer. 2017 Sep;64(9). doi: 10.1002/pbc.26488. Epub 2017 Feb 24. PubMed PMID: 28233475. 

Spewak MB, Williamson RS, Mertens AC, Border WL, Meacham LR, Wasilewski-Masker KJ. Yield of screening echocardiograms during pediatric follow-up in survivors treated with anthracyclines and cardiotoxic radiation. Pediatr Blood Cancer. 2017 Jun;64(6). doi: 10.1002/pbc.26367. Epub 2016 Dec 14. PubMed PMID: 27966803. 

Gutiérrez-Colina AM, Lee JL, VanDellen M, Mertens A, Marchak JG; Guest Editors: Cynthia A. Gerhardt, Cynthia A. Berg, Deborah J. Wiebe and Grayson N. Holmbeck. Family Functioning and Depressive Symptoms in Adolescent and Young Adult Cancer Survivors and Their Families: A Dyadic Analytic Approach. J Pediatr  Psychol. 2017 Jan 1;42(1):19-27. doi: 10.1093/jpepsy/jsw041. PubMed PMID: 28173209. 

Ryerson AB, Wasilewski-Masker K, Border WL, Goodman M, Meacham L, Austin H, Marchak JG, Mertens AC. Pediatric quality of life in long-term survivors of childhood cancer treated with anthracyclines. Pediatr Blood Cancer. 2016 Dec;63(12):2205-2211. doi: 10.1002/pbc.26149. Epub 2016 Jul 21. PubMed PMID: 27442487.   

Record E, Williamson R, Wasilewski-Masker K, Mertens AC, Meacham LR, Popler J. Analysis of Risk Factors for Abnormal Pulmonary Function in Pediatric Cancer Survivors. Pediatr Blood Cancer. 2016 Jul;63(7):1264-71. doi: 10.1002/pbc.25969. Epub 2016 Mar 22. PubMed PMID: 27002916.   

Elchuri SV, Patterson BC, Brown M, Bedient C, Record E, Wasilewski-Masker K, Mertens AC, Meacham LR. Low Anti-Müllerian Hormone in Pediatric Cancer Survivors in the Early Years after Gonadotoxic Therapy. J Pediatr Adolesc Gynecol. 2016 Aug;29(4):393-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jpag.2016.02.009. Epub 2016 Feb 26. PubMed PMID:  26924632.   

Ramirez MD, Mertens AC, Esiashvili N, Meacham LR, Wasilewski-Masker K. Yield  of Urinalysis Screening in Pediatric Cancer Survivors. Pediatr Blood Cancer. 2016 May;63(5):893-900. doi: 10.1002/pbc.25897. Epub 2016 Jan 21. PubMed PMID: 26797960; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4801680.   

Elchuri SV, Williamson RS, Clark Brown R, Haight AE, Spencer JB, Buchanan I,  Hassen-Schilling L, Brown MR, Mertens AC, Meacham LR. The effects of hydroxyurea  and bone marrow transplant on Anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH) levels in females with sickle cell anemia. Blood Cells Mol Dis. 2015 Jun;55(1):56-61. doi: 10.1016/j.bcmd.2015.03.012. Epub 2015 Mar 31. PubMed PMID: 25976468.   

Ryerson AB, Border WL, Wasilewski-Masker K, Goodman M, Meacham L, Austin H, Mertens AC. Assessing anthracycline-treated childhood cancer survivors with advanced stress echocardiography. Pediatr Blood Cancer. 2015 Mar;62(3):502-8. doi: 10.1002/pbc.25328. Epub 2014 Nov 12. PubMed PMID: 25393686.   

Cash T, Qayed M, Ward KC, Mertens AC, Rapkin L. Comparison of survival at adult versus pediatric treatment centers for rare pediatric tumors in an adolescent and young adult (AYA) population in the State of Georgia. Pediatr Blood Cancer. 2015 Mar;62(3):456-62. doi: 10.1002/pbc.25326. Epub 2014 Nov 12. PubMed PMID: 25393593; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4305041.   


AYA Fertility

Travers CD, Spencer JB, Cwiak CA, Mertens AC, Howards PP. Urban-Rural Differences in Tubal Ligation Incidence in the State of Georgia, USA. J Rural Health. 2018 Mar;34(2):122-131. doi: 10.1111/jrh.12259. Epub 2017 Jul 21. PubMed  PMID: 28731204; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5776071. 

Hartnett KP, Ward KC, Kramer MR, Lash TL, Mertens AC, Spencer JB, Fothergill A, Howards PP. The risk of preterm birth and growth restriction in pregnancy after cancer. Int J Cancer. 2017 Dec 1;141(11):2187-2196. doi: 10.1002/ijc.30914. Epub 2017 Aug 24. PubMed PMID: 28836277; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5766343. 

Shandley LM, Spencer JB, Fothergill A, Mertens AC, Manatunga A, Paplomata E, Howards PP. Impact of tamoxifen therapy on fertility in breast cancer survivors. Fertil Steril. 2017 Jan;107(1):243-252.e5. doi: 10.1016/j.fertnstert.2016.10.020. Epub 2016 Nov 22. PubMed PMID: 27887709; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5203952. 

Chin HB, Kramer MR, Mertens AC, Spencer JB, Howards PP. Differences in Women's Use of Medical Help for Becoming Pregnant by the Level of Urbanization of County of Residence in Georgia. J Rural Health. 2017 Jan;33(1):41-49. doi: 10.1111/jrh.12172. Epub 2016 Jan 14. PubMed PMID: 26769080; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4945485.   

Chin HB, Howards PP, Kramer MR, Mertens AC, Spencer JB. Which female cancer patients fail to receive fertility counseling before treatment in the state of Georgia? Fertil Steril. 2016 Dec;106(7):1763-1771.e1. doi: 10.1016/j.fertnstert.2016.08.034. Epub 2016 Sep 24. PubMed PMID: 27678034; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5136299.   

Ritenour CW, Seidel KD, Leisenring W, Mertens AC, Wasilewski-Masker K, Shnorhavorian M, Sklar CA, Whitton JA, Stovall M, Constine LS, Armstrong GT, Robison LL, Meacham LR. Erectile Dysfunction in Male Survivors of Childhood Cancer-A Report From the Childhood Cancer Survivor Study. J Sex Med. 2016 Jun;13(6):945-54. doi: 10.1016/j.jsxm.2016.03.367. Epub 2016 Apr 21. PubMed PMID: 27117527; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4879056.   

Jacobson MH, Mertens AC, Spencer JB, Manatunga AK, Howards PP. Menses resumption after cancer treatment-induced amenorrhea occurs early or not at all.  Fertil Steril. 2016 Mar;105(3):765-772.e4. doi: 10.1016/j.fertnstert.2015.11.020. Epub 2015 Dec 1. PubMed PMID: 26658130; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4779728.   

Chin HB, Jacobson MH, Interrante JD, Mertens AC, Spencer JB, Howards PP. Hypothyroidism after cancer and the ability to meet reproductive goals among a cohort of young adult female cancer survivors. Fertil Steril. 2016 Jan;105(1):202-7.e1-2. doi: 10.1016/j.fertnstert.2015.09.031. Epub 2015 Oct 30. PubMed PMID: 26474733; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4710540.   

Chin HB, Howards PP, Kramer MR, Mertens AC, Spencer JB. Racial Disparities in Seeking Care for Help Getting Pregnant. Paediatr Perinat Epidemiol. 2015 Sep;29(5):416-25. doi: 10.1111/ppe.12210. Epub 2015 Jul 22. PubMed PMID: 26201443; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4630798.   


CCSS Consortium

Dietz AC, Chen Y, Yasui Y, Ness KK, Hagood JS, Chow EJ, Stovall M, Neglia JP, Oeffinger KC, Mertens AC, Robison LL, Armstrong GT, Mulrooney DA. Risk and impact of pulmonary complications in survivors of childhood cancer: A report from the Childhood Cancer Survivor Study. Cancer. 2016 Dec 1;122(23):3687-3696. doi: 10.1002/cncr.30200. Epub 2016 Aug 9. PubMed PMID: 27504874; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5115933.   

Chodick G, Sigurdson AJ, Kleinerman RA, Sklar CA, Leisenring W, Mertens AC, Stovall M, Smith SA, Weathers RE, Veiga LH, Robison LL, Inskip PD. The Risk of Cataract among Survivors of Childhood and Adolescent Cancer: A Report from the Childhood Cancer Survivor Study. Radiat Res. 2016 Apr;185(4):366-74. doi: 10.1667/RR14276.1. Epub 2016 Mar 29. PubMed PMID: 27023263; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4853230.   

Inskip PD, Sigurdson AJ, Veiga L, Bhatti P, Ronckers C, Rajaraman P, Boukheris H, Stovall M, Smith S, Hammond S, Henderson TO, Watt TC, Mertens AC, Leisenring W, Stratton K, Whitton J, Donaldson SS, Armstrong GT, Robison LL, Neglia JP. Radiation-Related New Primary Solid Cancers in the Childhood Cancer Survivor Study: Comparative Radiation Dose Response and Modification of Treatment Effects. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2016 Mar 15;94(4):800-7. doi: 10.1016/j.ijrobp.2015.11.046. Epub 2015 Dec 15. PubMed PMID: 26972653; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5011040.   

Armstrong GT, Chen Y, Yasui Y, Leisenring W, Gibson TM, Mertens AC, Stovall M, Oeffinger KC, Bhatia S, Krull KR, Nathan PC, Neglia JP, Green DM, Hudson MM, Robison LL. Reduction in Late Mortality among 5-Year Survivors of Childhood Cancer. N Engl J Med. 2016 Mar 3;374(9):833-42. doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa1510795. Epub  2016 Jan 13. PubMed PMID: 26761625; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4786452.   

Lowe K, Escoffery C, Mertens AC, Berg CJ. Distinct health behavior and psychosocial profiles of young adult survivors of childhood cancers: a mixed methods study. J Cancer Surviv. 2016 Aug;10(4):619-32. doi: 10.1007/s11764-015-0508-1. Epub 2015 Dec 19. PubMed PMID: 26688575; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4915965.   

Rosenberg SM, Moskowitz CS, Ford JS, Henderson TO, Frazier AL, Diller LR, Hudson MM, Stanton AL, Chou JF, Smith S, Leisenring WM, Mertens AC, Cox CL, Nathan PC, Krull KR, Robison LL, Oeffinger KC. Health care utilization, lifestyle, and emotional factors and mammography practices in the Childhood Cancer Survivor Study. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2015 Nov;24(11):1699-706. doi: 10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-14-1377. Epub 2015 Aug 24. PubMed PMID: 26304504; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4633330.   

Gibson TM, Liu W, Armstrong GT, Srivastava DK, Hudson MM, Leisenring WM, Mertens AC, Klesges RC, Oeffinger KC, Nathan PC, Robison LL. Longitudinal smoking patterns in survivors of childhood cancer: An update from the Childhood Cancer Survivor Study. Cancer. 2015 Nov 15;121(22):4035-43. doi: 10.1002/cncr.29609. Epub 2015 Aug 19. PubMed PMID: 26287647; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4635054.   

Daniel CL, Armstrong GT, Keske RR, Davine JA, McDonald AJ, Sprunck-Harrild KM, Coleman C, Haneuse SJ, Mertens AC, Emmons KM, Marghoob AA, Elkin EB, Dusza SW, Robison LL, Geller AC. Advancing Survivors' Knowledge (ASK) about skin cancer study: study protocol for a randomized controlled trial. Trials. 2015 Mar 24;16:109. doi: 10.1186/s13063-015-0637-x. PubMed PMID: 25873142; PubMed Central  PMCID: PMC4392639.   

Park ER, Kirchhoff AC, Perez GK, Leisenring W, Weissman JS, Donelan K, Mertens AC, Reschovsky JD, Armstrong GT, Robison LL, Franklin M, Hyland KA, Diller LR, Recklitis CJ, Kuhlthau KA. Childhood Cancer Survivor Study participants' perceptions and understanding of the Affordable Care Act. J Clin Oncol. 2015 Mar 1;33(7):764-72. doi: 10.1200/JCO.2014.58.0993. Epub 2015 Feb 2. PubMed PMID: 25646189; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4334780.   

Mertens AC, Yong J, Dietz AC, Kreiter E, Yasui Y, Bleyer A, Armstrong GT, Robison LL, Wasilewski-Masker K. Conditional survival in pediatric malignancies:  analysis of data from the Childhood Cancer Survivor Study and the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results Program. Cancer. 2015 Apr 1;121(7):1108-17. doi: 10.1002/cncr.29170. Epub 2014 Dec 29. PubMed PMID: 25557134; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4368489.   

Hudson MM, Oeffinger KC, Jones K, Brinkman TM, Krull KR, Mulrooney DA, Mertens A, Castellino SM, Casillas J, Gurney JG, Nathan PC, Leisenring W, Robison LL, Ness KK. Age-dependent changes in health status in the Childhood Cancer Survivor cohort. J Clin Oncol. 2015 Feb 10;33(5):479-91. doi: 10.1200/JCO.2014.57.4863. Epub 2014 Dec 29. PubMed PMID: 25547510; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4314595.   

National Cancer Institute

Reducing Skin Cancer Risk in Childhood Cancer Survivors.

PI to subcontract: Mertens

 

National Cancer Institute

SurvivorLink: Scalability of an Electronic Personal Health Record for Cancer Survivors and Caregivers at Pediatric Cancer Centers

Co-Principal Investigator: Mertens

 

St. Baldrick’s Foundation

Evaluating Electronic Psychosocial Screening in Pediatric Oncology

PI: Marchak; co-investigator: Mertens

 

Woodruff Health Sciences Synergy Award

Improving Health-Promoting Behaviors in Adolescent Cancer Survivors Using AWAKE: A Feasibility Trial

PI: Effinger; co-investigator: Mertens

In 2017, I received the following awards:

  •         Faculty Research Appreciation Award from the School of Medicine at Emory University
  •         Winship Research Mentorship Award
  •         Induction into the Emory Millipub Club for the following publication: