Areas of research at J-SUPPORT

Target research areas at J-SUPPORT are as follows.

Each research area is identified by a roman numeral assigned to the area. Each research group is identified by the abbreviation of the group name in English.

Area

Director

Study group

Group Reader

I: Medicine and Device Development

Tsutomu Suzuki

Medicine and Device Development

Yasuhito Uezono

II: Supportive and Palliative Care

Akira Inoue

Supportive Care

Sadamoto Zenda

Palliative Care

Eriko Satomi

III: Psychosocial and Behavioral Care

Tatsuo Akechi

Psychosocial and Behavioral Care

Yutaka Matsuoka

IV: Research Methodology

Takuhiro Yamaguchi

Research Methodology

Takuhiro Yamaguchi

V:Needs Survey and Implementation

Yoshiyuki Kizawa

Needs Survey and Implementation

Masashi Kato

Introduction to Individual Research Areas

Area I: Medicine and Device Development

The efficacy and safety of novel drugs, such as analgesics, and medical devices that are discovered and invented in basic research, must be verified in clinical studies before they are approved for use in supportive and palliative care for cancer patients. Researchers in Area I strive to build bridges between basic and clinical studies, by conducting basic research until the acquisition of preclinical data on research seeds that have been discovered/invented and by handing down the data to the research group in Area II, which conducts Phase I (First-in-Human trial), II, and III clinical research to establish a proof of concept of clinical efficacy.

Area II: Medical Intervention

Various drugs are used in palliative care, including those for alleviating pain and malaise associated with the primary cancer and those for alleviating unpleasant symptoms (nausea and skin lesions) caused by treatment (anticancer drugs and radiotherapy) for the primary cancer. However, many drugs lack sufficient scientific evidence on safety and efficacy, and therefore, the establishment of standard treatment verified in high-quality clinical studies has become an important global challenge. The research group in Area II actively supports drug intervention studies for various pain symptoms encountered in the field of palliative and supportive care.

Area III: Psychosocial and Behavioral Care

The research group in Area III covers all possible interventions associated with human behavior. Study targets include cancer survivors, their family members, support staff, and the society surrounding them. In addition to performing clinical studies of health care for individuals, researchers in Area III devote attention to social intervention that impacts the whole community. The term “behavior” also implies human knowledge, recognition, and attitudes. Research topics related to interventions currently now under consideration include how medical and nursing care should be provided (for example, what should be included in psychosocial care and how it should be provided); communication between patients and healthcare providers’ hospital and facility care; and rehabilitation, diet, nutrition, physical activity, psychotherapy, and various other modalities. The research group hope to contribute to the innovation of medical and nursing care that touch people's heart.

Area IV: Research Methodology

The methodology of clinical research supported by J-SUPPORT is examined from various viewpoints in Area IV. Related contents vary widely from the research design unique to supportive care, to the development and selection of outcomes, statistical analysis methods, and quality management systems. Through close collaboration and cooperation with other research areas, we strive to develop and disseminate supportive care tailored to Japanese systems. This group consists of experts in research methodology from different fields, such as biostatistics, pharmacy, and data management.

Area V: Needs Survey and Implementation

The research group in Area V observes and evaluates the current status of palliative care, assesses the need for developing supportive care, and monitors clinical study outcomes that have been reported and implemented in clinical practice. The group also promotes clinical application of research and development results by supporting the development of educational programs, dispatching information, supporting existing programs, assessing new systems, and proposing strategies. In particular, this research group is planning the development of a methodology for evaluating the provision of palliative care over time (by establishing a framework for time series analysis); the assessment of a national database that contains data from patient surveys on discomfort, pain, and quality of life, pain surveys, bereaved family surveys, and surveys for healthcare professionals; and the design and implementation of a database study using health insurance claims as well as cohort studies.