Health Promotion in Minority Childhood Cancer Survivors

Also known as

Chicago Healthy Living Study


To observe African American, Hispanic and non-Hispanic white adult survivors of childhood cancers.


Advances in the treatment of pediatric cancers have led to dramatic improvements in survival and over 75 percent of children with cancer survive disease-free for more than 5 years. As a result, approximately one in every 900 adults between the ages of 16 and 44 is a survivor of pediatric cancer. Despite advances in treatment, many suvivors experience adverse late effects of treatment such as increased risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD) and secondary cancers related to treatment. These late effects may be compounded by lifestyle factors that include obesity, unhealthful diets, inactivity, and smoking. Therefore, adherence to health-promoting practices such as maintenance of a healthy diet and weight, regular physical activity, and avoiding smoking may be particularly beneficial to adult survivors of childhood cancers. Studies that have been done include primarily non-Hispanic White samples. Virtually nothing is known about ethnic minority adult survivors. This project is a cross sectional observational study of African-American, Hispanic, and non-Hispanic White adult survivors of childhood cancers and non-cancer controls. The study describes and compares important heath behaviors (diet, physical activity, smoking) and specific health care, sociocultural, cognitive and environmental factors (health status, health care utilization, cultural beliefs/practices, spirituality, health knowledge, attitudes, self-efficacy and social support) hypothesized to influence the identified health behaviors. Using regression analyses we are formulating predictive models that explain the relationships between survivor status, ethnicity and health behaviors, and the sociocultural and cognitive factors that mediate these behaviors. The results from this study will be used to assist in the design of a feasible intervention to increase positive health behaviors in minority survivors.

Research Partner(s)

Children's Memorial Hospital
UIC Hospital
Rush St. Luke's Presbyterian
Stroger County Hospital
University of Chicago Hospital

Principal investigator
Funding Agency

National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health (Grant No. 1 R01 CA116750)

Start date
End date
Total award

Related publications

See the abstracts of all articles supported by this research on PubMed. 

Stolley MR, Sharp LK, Tangney CC, Schiffer LA, Arroyo C, Kim Y, Campbell RT, Schmidt ML, Breen K, Kinahan KE, Dilley KJ, Henderson TO, Korenblit AD, Seligman K. Health behaviors of minority childhood cancer survivors. Cancer. 2015 May 15;121(10):1671-80. [See abstract.]

Berdan CA, Tangney CC, Scala C, Stolley M. Childhood cancer survivors and adherence to the American Cancer Society Guidelines on Nutrition and Physical Activity. J Cancer Surviv. 2014 Dec;8(4):671-9. [See abstract.]

Seltzer ED, Stolley MR, Mensah EK, Sharp LK. Social networking site usage among childhood cancer survivors -- a potential tool for research recruitment? J Cancer Surviv. [See abstract.]

Freeman VL, Ricardo AC, Campbell RT, Barrett RE, Warnecke RB. Association of census tract-level socioeconomic status with disparities in prostate cancer-specific survival. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2011 Oct;20(10):2150-9. [See abstract.]

Stolley MR, Restrepo J, Sharp LK. Diet and physical activity in childhood cancer survivors: a review of the literature. Ann Behav Med. 2010 Jun;39(3):232-49. [See abstract.]

Stolley MR, Sharp LK, Arroyo C, Ruffin C, Restrepo J, Campbell R. Design and recruitment of the Chicago Healthy Living Study: a study of health behaviors in a diverse cohort of adult childhood cancer survivors. Cancer. 2009 Sep 15;115(18 Suppl):4385-96. [See abstract.]