The African-Caribbean Cancer Consortium (AC3) was conceived in 2006 for the study of viral, genetic and environmental risk factors in populations of African descent. The establishment of this Consortium has provided new collaborative opportunities for cancer research among investigators throughout the various islands in the Caribbean, United States and Africa. Since the establishment of the AC3, more than 100 investigators have joined and are conducting collaborative studies of cancer risk in the US, Caribbean islands and Africa. Cervical and prostate cancer studies are ongoing in US, the Bahamas, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana as well as Nigeria. Head and neck cancer studies are ongoing in the US. Breast cancer studies are ongoing in the US, Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados and Guyana. The studied populations include African-Americans, African-Caribbean, African as well as immigrant African-descent populations living in the US. We seek funding to support our next conference entitled "Advancing Cancer Health Equity in Populations of African Descent." The purpose of this conference is to strengthen our global cancer research efforts and develop trans-disciplinary studies that will help to understand the reasons behind cancer health disparities in risk, outcome and survivorship and their impact on Black populations globally. Our theme emphasizes a trans-disciplinary approach that extends beyond the documentation of health disparities through scientific presentations, and facilitates a multi-level research agenda that involves community education, technical/research training, collaborative research planning, and scientific exchange. This effort will support research collaborations that will help to promote the highest level of health among Black populations worldwide. We expect that the engagement of research (AC3 members and non-members) and community participants will promote knowledge transfer through scientific presentations and both educational and technical training workshops. A general assembly of the AC3 membership will promote the exchange of ideas for future collaborative research studies. The Steering Committee meeting will help to guide the leadership on the overall agenda, which is to obtain extramural funding for our collaborative studies. This will be an open conference. To promote cancer health equity, the following are the Specific Aims: 1) to facilitate knowledge transfer related to cancer risk and outcomes in African-descended populations, and promote the development and coordination of research studies involving African- American, African-Caribbean and African populations;2) Promote diversity in health disparities research by providing a forum for training and career development for under-represented minority investigators and students;and 3) To provide culturally sensitive research information to the community in order to improve knowledge and awareness of cancer risk and prevention strategies.
This conference fulfills a specific health problem in populations of African descent. African-Americans have significantly higher cancer incidence and mortality rates compared to other ethnic groups in the US. Cancer is among the top five leading causes of death in the Caribbean Islands and it is also anticipated that in Africa, over the next two decades cancer will become a growing threat of health.