University of Minnesota Hosting First Cancer Center Survivorship Research Forum

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - March 11, 2021 - There was a time, for many, that the words cancer and survivor didn’t seem to go hand-in-hand. But advancements in cancer care, prevention, and treatment have changed that outlook. There are currently more than 16 million cancer survivors in the world and the need to increase the understanding of what that means has taken center stage at the University of Minnesota.

Anne Blaes, MD, who was named the inaugural Director of Cancer Survivorship Services and Translational Research in 2019, knows firsthand the issues and complications that can occur after a patient fights cancer. Using this knowledge and insight, she has put together the first Cancer Center Survivorship Research Forum: Innovations in Survivorship Care Delivery. The event, taking place over two days in April, is filling a void that was left when previous survivorship research conferences were cancelled, postponed, or just stopped happening.

“For many years we have hosted our annual Cancer Survivorship Conference, focused on patients and their families,” said Dr. Blaes. “Now, we want to take that patient-focused thinking and bring together the best and brightest cancer survivorship researchers to galvanize our efforts, while also solidifying the University of Minnesota’s role as a national leader in cancer survivorship.”

Cancer survivors may face complications long after cancer, including cardiac issues, chronic illnesses, accelerated aging, obesity, and secondary cancers. Blaes, who also currently serves as the Director of the MHealth Adult Long Term Follow-Up Clinic for Cancer Survivors, is researching methods of improving outcomes for cancer survivors and reducing the prevalence of post-treatment complications.  

“As a cancer survivor I see the need for more focus and funding on cancer survivorship issues and it’s gratifying to witness the depth and breadth of this conference," said Steven Petrow, cancer survivor and writer. "As a journalist who writes about living with cancer,  I know how necessary this kind of up to date and informed discussion can be. In the end I think the conference will improve survivors’  quality of life if not more.”

About the Masonic Cancer Center, University of Minnesota

The Masonic Cancer Center, University of Minnesota, is the Twin Cities’ only Comprehensive Cancer Center, designated ‘Outstanding’ by the National Cancer Institute. As Minnesota’s Cancer Center, we have served the entire state for more than 25 years. Our researchers, educators, and care providers have worked to discover the causes, prevention, detection, and treatment of cancer and cancer-related diseases. Learn more at

About the University of Minnesota Medical School

The University of Minnesota Medical School is at the forefront of learning and discovery, transforming medical care, and educating the next generation of physicians. Our graduates and faculty produce high-impact biomedical research and advance the practice of medicine. Learn how the University of Minnesota is innovating all aspects of medicine by visiting