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Economic Burden of Cancer Associated with Long-Term Treatment and at End of Life

Summer 2024

Project Background

We have a range of projects with data for analysis including cost and treatment data from administrative databases at the population level (Utah Population Database and Flatiron Health) and self-reported survey measures (e.g. financial toxicity and quality of life measures) related to the economic burden of cancer care. We are also conducting focus groups with rural patients, families, and healthcare providers to better understand and intervene on cancer-related financial toxicity in conjunction with a community advisory board.

Student Role

The student will be involved in study coordination, IRB applications and amendments, and observation in focus group interviews and community advisory board meetings.

If interested in working with quantitative analyses, comfort with quantitative data and some experience with programming language will be very helpful (e.g. r, SQL, Python).

The student will contribute to abstracts, manuscripts and grant support to disseminate findings based on interest and ability.

Student Learning Outcomes and Benefits

By the end of the program, the student will have gained exposure to:

1)The use of large population datasets for cancer research questions, exposure to data wrangling and cleaning and working with relational databases, and experience in designing a research question that can be addressed with administrative and clinical data,

or, 2) exposure to community-based participatory research, study coordination, and intervention development

and 3) gain opportunities to collaborate and lead on manuscripts and abstracts

Djin Tay

Assistant Professor

Dr. Tay's research focuses on the implications of emerging treatments on caregiving, decision making, palliative care, and end-of-life in the context of the family. She leads the development of the Immunotherapy, Palliative, End-of-Life Treatment Utilization and Spousal Outcomes (ImmPETUS) cohort, a population-based cohort of Utah cancer patients diagnosed between 2013-2019 with lung, colorectal, breast, melanoma, bladder, and head and neck cancers.

"As a mentor, I strongly believe that research training is not only about learning the processes involved in conducting methodologically sound research, but also involves being immersed in a culture of research, in which a trainee learns about how interdisciplinary teams function, roles of the research team, and are offered opportunities to learn by doing.

In my research mentorship, I believe in affirming and supporting the unique learning and communication needs of students of racial and ethnically minoritized, underrepresented, and diverse backgrounds and abilities. I endeavor to provide timely and responsive formative and summative feedback to support these learning objectives through a culture of psychological safety, respect, and trust. I encourage student involvement in the dissemination process and support abstract or manuscript development and submissions. The specific mentoring activities I commit to are:

  1. I will meet with the student weekly to monitor and assess needs and progress, set goals, and oversee tasks throughout the course of the program, except for those that fall on breaks or holidays.
  2. I will attend the programmatic meetings required by the SPUR program.
  3. I will connect the student to statistical and informatics experts to conduct the research activities
  4. I will support the student in presenting their work at the SPUR symposium and Undergraduate Research Journal and support any fees associated with these activities, or presentations or manuscripts outside of these two venues related to the project. Continued involvement in the research will be supported pending performance."