Emory Report
January 14, 2008
Volume 60, Number 15

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January 14, 2008
Orloff’s site named best cancer resource

By kim urquhart

When Gregg Orloff’s wife was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1998, the senior lecturer in biology turned to the Internet to learn more about breast cancer and its treatment. “I found a lot of information on support groups and general information on therapies,” says Orloff, “but very little on how cancer works — the biology of cancer.”

With funding through a Howard Hughes Medical Institute grant, Orloff spearheaded the creation of www.CancerQuest.org that provided easy-to-understand information for cancer patients and their loved ones. The Emory-based Web site has since grown into an award-winning educational resource.

CancerQuest was recently recognized by the European School of Oncology as one of the best Internet cancer resources in the world. Orloff, assistant professor of hematology and oncology at the Winship Cancer Institute, accepted the award at the ESO’s “Cancer on the Internet” meeting in Barcelona, Spain. The award recognizes excellence in the development of innovative Web sites that have had a positive impact on the cancer patient community.

“This recognition from a European school of oncology is important and helps validate all the work that our group has put into this Web site,” says Orloff. “It illustrates the international nature of communication and the importance of providing information in a clear and easily understandable way to patients and their loved ones.”

To reach the broadest possible audience, CancerQuest is available in several languages through work with international collaborators.

Three-dimensional graphics, videos, animations and patient interviews tackle topics such as the biology of cancer, information on cancer treatments and the history of cancer.

Interactive quizzes and online games allow users to test their knowledge. It’s also a teaching tool: classroom materials for schools and cancer education videos are available free of charge from the site.