Fox Chase Receives Grant to Investigate Intersection of Nutrition and Cancer Care

Rishi Jain, MD, MS, DABOM, assistant professor in the Department of Hematology/Oncology at Fox Chase.
Rishi Jain, MD, MS, DABOM, assistant professor in the Department of Hematology/Oncology at Fox Chase.

PHILADELPHIA (June 7, 2021 )— Researchers at Fox Chase Cancer Center have been awarded a $50,000 research grant from the MANNA Institute to measure the impact of a medically tailored meal program in patients with a non-terminal cancer diagnosis. The resulting research is intended to identify appropriate outcomes and potential evaluation tools that can be used to build a robust clinical trial protocol.

The MANNA Institute explores the impact of nutrition on health for people with serious illnesses. According to the institute, it leads research and evaluation initiatives, educates healthcare practitioners and consumers, and shares findings and best practices for improved service delivery and healthcare transformation.

“We are greatly honored to receive this grant from the MANNA Institute. My primary area of research is the intersection between nutrition and cancer, so this will greatly assist in that work,” said Rishi Jain, MD, MS, DABOM, assistant professor in the Department of Hematology/Oncology at Fox Chase. In addition to being a medical oncologist, Jain has an MS in human nutrition and is also board certified in obesity medicine.

Jain and Kara Stromberg, MS, RDN, CDE, LDN, clinical manager of nutrition and food services at Fox Chase Cancer Center and Temple University Hospital – Jeanes Campus, will be the principal investigators for the research, “A Medically Tailored Meal Program to Improve Chemotherapy Tolerance in Patients with Colorectal Cancer: A Pilot Study.”

The grant is one of two that are the first grants in the three-year history of the MANNA Institute. They are funded by the institute’s founding donors: John Alchin, Kevin R. Boyle, Dr. Lynn Garvin Dever, Julia Fleischner, Steven H. Korman, Linda Richardson Korman, and Allan Schimmel in honor of Reid Reames.

“We received multiple proposals from respected institutions across the Philadelphia region,” said MANNA Institute director Jule Anne Henstenburg, PhD, RDN, LDN, FAND. “We are so lucky to be in a city that continues to drive medical research and innovation. The MANNA Institute is the first research institution of its kind, and we look forward to continuing to innovate in the food-as-medicine space with our partners.”

The study will measure unique health outcomes in patients receiving MANNA’s medically tailored meals—three meals a day, seven days a week. The research projects are expected to conclude by June 2022.

Fox Chase Cancer Center (Fox Chase), which includes the Institute for Cancer Research and the American Oncologic Hospital and is a part of Temple Health, is one of the leading comprehensive cancer centers in the United States. Founded in 1904 in Philadelphia as one of the nation’s first cancer hospitals, Fox Chase was also among the first institutions to be designated a National Cancer Institute Comprehensive Cancer Center in 1974. Fox Chase is also one of just 10 members of the Alliance of Dedicated Cancer Centers. Fox Chase researchers have won the highest awards in their fields, including two Nobel Prizes. Fox Chase physicians are also routinely recognized in national rankings, and the Center’s nursing program has received the Magnet recognition for excellence six consecutive times. Today, Fox Chase conducts a broad array of nationally competitive basic, translational, and clinical research, with special programs in cancer prevention, detection, survivorship, and community outreach. It is the policy of Fox Chase Cancer Center that there shall be no exclusion from, or participation in, and no one denied the benefits of, the delivery of quality medical care on the basis of race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity/expression, disability, age, ancestry, color, national origin, physical ability, level of education, or source of payment.

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