Pediatrician honored for career in improving life for survivors of childhood cancer

Anna Meadows, MD, receives pediatric oncology award from American Society of Clinical Oncology

Anna T. Meadows, M.D., of The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, will receive the 2006 Pediatric Oncology Award from the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) at its annual meeting in Atlanta on Saturday, June 3. Dr. Meadows, nationally recognized as a leading researcher in cancer survivorship, will also deliver a lecture at the meeting, "Cancer Survivors: Childhood and Beyond."

ASCO, which describes itself as the world's leading professional organization representing physicians who treat people with cancer, presents this award to an individual who has contributed outstanding scientific work to the future of pediatric oncology.

Dr. Meadows is the medical director of the Cancer Survivorship Program at Children's Hospital. She also is a professor of Pediatrics at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, where she leads both the Cancer Survivorship Research Program and the Lance Armstrong Foundation Living Well After Cancer Program at Penn's Abramson Cancer Center.

Dr. Meadows is nationally recognized as an expert in the after-effects of children's cancer. Starting in the mid-1970s, Dr. Meadows and her colleagues at Children's Hospital were the first researchers to investigate the late effects of childhood cancer. Their studies showed that brain radiation then used to treat children with leukemia damaged the children's cognitive development and increased their risk of later brain cancer. That research helped to change medical practice, as physicians eliminated or reduced the doses of radiation to the head as part of the treatment regimen for childhood leukemia.

As medical advances over the past 30 years dramatically improved survival rates in childhood cancer, the number of survivors of childhood cancer has expanded to some 250,000 Americans. Those survivors often have specialized medical needs related to their experience, such as organ damage, second cancers, impaired fertility and long-term psychological trauma.

When the National Cancer Institute (NCI) established an Office of Cancer Survivorship, Dr. Meadows became its first director, serving from 1996 to 1999. Since 1993, she has been a prominent investigator in the Childhood Cancer Survivor Study, an NCI-sponsored long-term national study of 15,000 cancer survivors. Dr. Meadows has also focused her research efforts on retinoblastoma, an eye tumor found in infants.

First trained as a clinical psychologist, Dr. Meadows earned her M.D. degree from the Medical College of Pennsylvania, then served her pediatric residency at St. Christopher's Hospital for Children in Philadelphia. She subsequently became a research fellow in Oncology at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia in 1972, where she joined the faculty in 1974.

The American Society of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology honored Dr. Meadows with a Distinguished Career Award in 2004. She has also received the William Osler Patient-Oriented Research Award from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine.

In 2002, ASCO presented its first Pediatric Oncology Award to Dr. Meadows' husband, Alfred Knudson, M.D., Ph.D., of Fox Chase Cancer Center. The 2006 ASCO annual meeting has a special focus on cancer survivors. Dr. Meadows' lecture on June 3 will describe the current challenges for survivors of childhood cancer and suggest future directions for research.


About The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia: The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia was founded in 1855 as the nation's first pediatric hospital. Through its long-standing commitment to providing exceptional patient care, training new generations of pediatric healthcare professionals and pioneering major research initiatives, Children's Hospital has fostered many discoveries that have benefited children worldwide. Its pediatric research program is among the largest in the country, ranking second in National Institutes of Health funding. In addition, its unique family-centered care and public service programs have brought the 430-bed hospital recognition as a leading advocate for children and adolescents. For more information, visit

Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 30 Apr 2016
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