Melissa M. Hudson, MD, joined the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital faculty in 1989 after completing her fellowship in Pediatric Hematology-Oncology at the University of Texas, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. She is currently a Member and Director of the Cancer Survivorship Division in the Department of Oncology and holds the Charles E. Williams Endowed Chair of Oncology-Cancer Survivorship. In 1993, Dr. Hudson became the Director of the After Completion of Therapy (ACT) Program, which now monitors over 5000 long-term childhood cancer survivors treated on St. Jude trials. During her tenure as Director, the ACT Program evaluation evolved to include a series of focused educational interventions aiming to increase survivor knowledge about cancer and its associated health risks and motivate the practice of health protective behaviors. The ACT Program has served as a paradigm of optimal risk-based survivor care, within a research setting, that provides a screening and prevention plan that integrates the cancer experience with health care needs.
The ACT Program has alsoprovided a forum for numerous research initiatives evaluating complications after childhood cancer and methods of health promotion. Dr. Hudson disseminated the St. Jude model of risk-based survivor care in her role of Co-Chair of the Children’s Oncology Group (COG) Long-Term Follow-Up Guidelines for Survivors of Childhood, Adolescent and Young Adult Cancer and Co-Chair of the International Late Effects of Childhood Cancer Guideline Harmonization Group (IGHG). She is also the Chair of the Education Committee of the Childhood Cancer Survivor Study (CCSS) and a member of the CCSS Executive Committee. She works collaboratively with multidisciplinary investigators at St. Jude and within COG, IGHG and the CCSS in research initiatives evaluating biomedical and psychosocial outcomes among childhood cancer survivors and translating data from health outcomes research into evidence-informed clinical practice guidelines and interventions to improve the quality and duration of survival after childhood cancer. She has published widely on her research initiatives in pediatric Hodgkin lymphoma, late treatment sequelae after childhood cancer, and health education of childhood cancer survivors.