Erin Bantum, a clinical health psychologist at the University of Hawaiʻi Cancer Center, has been elected to serve a three-year term, beginning October 1, on the National Cancer Institute’s (NCI) Symptom Management and Quality of Life Steering Committee (SxQOLSC). The committee decides on the types of clinical trials that are offered by addressing the design, prioritization and evaluation of concepts used to positively impact the symptoms and side effects of cancer and cancer treatment. Bantum’s membership on this committee provides a voice for Hawaiʻi in selecting clinical trials that will benefit the community.
NCI steering committees determine the direction of 71 NCI-designated research institutions throughout the nation, including the UH Cancer Center. Members of the SxQOLSC include representatives from the NCI Community Oncology Research Program (NCORP) sites, researchers throughout the National Institutes of Health, community oncologists, biostatisticians, patient advocates and NCI staff. As a committee member, Bantum will participate in decision-making activities through monthly webinars and in-person meetings.
“I am grateful to have been nominated through our NCORP and elected by my colleagues nationally to join the committee. I look forward to bringing what I have learned from countless cancer survivors within our community to set priorities around trials that can bring increased well-being and livelihood to those who have experienced cancer,” said Bantum.
Bantum’s research at the UH Cancer Center focuses on cancer survivorship and better understanding factors related to adjustment of diagnosis and treatment. Some of her recent research endeavors include the impact of hula for cancer survivors and the role of mindfulness meditation in positively impacting anxiety and cancer-related neuropathy for cancer survivors.
“Members take their experiences and learnings about what is important in their communities to their role on the committee, helping to bring the best care back to the people they serve,” said Bantum.
Bantum is one of three UH Cancer Center faculty members who currently serve on NCI steering committees. The others include Jared Acoba, a member of the Gastrointestinal Steering Committee, and Jami Fukui, who serves on the Breast Immuno-Oncology Task Force of the Breast Cancer Steering Committee.