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American Cancer Society's Cancer Control Award Given to Director of Nation's First Behavioral Research Core Facility

Fox Chase Cancer Center's Suzanne Miller Honored for Cancer Prevention and Control Work

PHILADELPHIA (November 1, 2002) -- Suzanne M. Miller, Ph.D., director of Fox Chase Cancer Center's Psychosocial and Behavioral Medicine Program, has received the distinguished Cancer Control Award from the American Cancer Society (ACS) for her contributions to cancer prevention and control. The award was presented October 29 during the ACS Pennsylvania Division's awards celebration at the Adam's Mark Hotel in Philadelphia.

A resident of Princeton, N.J., Miller has combined her skills as a clinical psychologist to advance the field of behavioral oncology. Her unique approach focuses on tailoring information about cancer risk and management for specific populations to make groundbreaking cancer technologies more accessible. Her work has included identifying and addressing people's barriers to behavior change, such as participating in smoking cessation programs; enrolling in cancer-prevention and clinical trials, and following recommended screening guidelines.

Miller is responsible for introducing and directing two significant programs at Fox Chase. First, to integrate behavioral science into the broader science research activities conducted at Fox Chase Cancer Center, Miller developed the Behavioral Research Core Facility (BRCF). The BRCF is the first facility of its kind in the country that is funded by the National Cancer Institute. The BRCF team is comprised of behavioral scientists with expertise in psychological assessment, design of individual and group health communication interventions, and new media technology. The BRCF provides the necessary infrastructure and resources to integrate basic and applied biobehavioral and psychosocial research across the spectrum of cancer prevention and control.

The BRCF is guided by the Cognitive-Social Health Information Processing (C-SHIP) framework, an integrative theoretical approach developed by Miller that specifies the cognitive- affective processes that determine individual responses to cancer risk, treatment, and survivorship.

The BRCF facilitates biobehavioral research to improve quality of life; adherence to screening, diagnostic, treatment, and follow-up guidelines; decision-making about genetic testing, treatment options, and participation in clinical trials; behavioral lifestyle changes (e.g., smoking cessation); and outreach efforts to increase minority participation in cancer prevention and control research. This approach highlights the importance of educating patients, and their families, so that they can be informed consumers of available health care services.

In 2001, Miller received a $6 million grant from the Department of Defense for the development of the nation's first Behavioral Center of Excellence for Breast Cancer Research. The Behavioral Center of Excellence is the first program of its kind to comprehensively address unresolved issues relating to the impact of breast cancer on women and their families. The program focuses entirely on the psychosocial needs of women at risk of breast cancer, those undergoing treatment or palliative care, and those recovering from the disease.

Miller has received national and international recognition for her work, which has a special focus on underserved groups. She has designed and implemented cancer-prevention and control programs for minority populations in such areas as cervical, breast, ovarian, prostate and lung cancer.

After receiving a B.S. from McGill University in 1972, Miller earned her Ph.D. in clinical psychology at the University of London's Institute of Psychiatry in 1976. Since the late 1970s, she has been extremely interested in the interface of psychology and medicine and has published and lectured widely in this area.

She also holds a number of adjunct professorships, including positions in the department of psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania, the department of obstetrics and gynecology at Temple University, the Fels Institute for Cancer Research and Molecular Biology at Temple University and the Institute for Health, Health Care Policy, and Aging Research at Rutgers University.

Miller has been honored as a distinguished visiting professor across the globe in places such as Italy , Switzerland, Japan and the Netherlands.

To support her noteworthy research, Miller has received several grants from the National Cancer Institute as well as funding from the American Cancer Society, the National Institutes of Mental Health, the National Human Genome Research Institute, and the United States Department of Defense.

In addition to her numerous honors and professional involvement, in 2000 Miller founded the Behavioral Oncology Interest Group within the American Society for Preventive Oncology to advance knowledge across the spectrum of cancer control.

Fox Chase Cancer Center, part of the Temple University Health System, is one of the leading cancer research and treatment centers in the United States. Founded in 1904 in Philadelphia as one of the nation’s first cancer hospitals, Fox Chase was also among the first institutions to be designated a National Cancer Institute Comprehensive Cancer Center in 1974. Fox Chase researchers have won the highest awards in their fields, including two Nobel Prizes. Fox Chase physicians are also routinely recognized in national rankings, and the Center’s nursing program has received the Magnet recognition for excellence four consecutive times. Today, Fox Chase conducts a broad array of nationally competitive basic, translational, and clinical research, with special programs in cancer prevention, detection, survivorship, and community outreach.  For more information, call 1-888-FOX CHASE or (1-888-369-2427).

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