There is a need to move beyond the documented racial disparities in cancer-related outcomes and to advance towards improving survivorship and quality of life of minority cancer survivors. The proposed symposium aims to take this leap forward by providing a one-of-a-kind forum for reviewing the state of the science and set an agenda for future initiatives to advance the outcomes of minority cancer survivors. With this proposal, we seek funding from NIMHD to bring together experts in survivorship and disparities research to specifically address cancer survivorship in African Americans. We will discuss in depth, research along the continuum of care from diagnosis to end-of-life, as well as research challenges related to recruitment and retention into research studies. African American survivors will be involved in planning and implementing the symposium: their perspective will be reflected in all discussions and products resulting from this symposium.
The specific aims are: 1) Discuss the current state of knowledge regarding racial disparities in outcomes along the survivorship continuum, and the specific challenges facing African American survivors;2) Exchange and discuss information about current interventions'success and acceptability among African American survivors;3) Define and discuss bioethical considerations in disparity research as it relates to survivors, and address issues and potential solutions regarding enrollment and engagement of African American cancer survivors in research studies and programs to improve their survivorship;4) Develop recommendations for a research agenda on African American cancer survivorship that includes the development of new studies and interventions that target survivors, health care professionals, and/or the community;and 5) Develop a synopsis of the symposium that can be widely distributed across the US. The symposium will be convened at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), immediately preceding the American Society of Preventive Oncology (ASPO) annual meeting which is also held at UAB on March 14-17, 2015. The Cancer Survivorship Working Group of the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center will serve as the Organizing Committee, and will plan the symposium in collaboration with a Scientific Advisory Committee that includes recognized researchers in cancer survivorship, disparities, and bioethics from around the nation. The proposed symposium innovatively combines perspectives of researchers from different disciplines who may not otherwise gather to discuss disparities in cancer survivorship, and the perspectives of survivors who are the ultimate stakeholders of this research. This forum is unlike any other available venue to discuss in depth, racial disparities in cancer survivorship;therefore, it will make a significant contribution and impact on the overall NIH goals of improving disease control and enhancing health, and on the goals of the NIMHD to provide all Americans with an equal opportunity to a long, healthy and productive life.
As the population of minority cancer survivors grows, this timely symposium proposes an in-depth discussion about the cancer care continuum for African American survivors with a particular emphasis on how to move research toward effectively addressing challenges that may compromise their well-being. Bringing together disparities and cancer survivorship experts with African American survivors, this forum is unlike any other available venue to discuss racial disparities in cancer survivorship. It is, thus, relevant to the IH goals of improving disease control and enhancing health, and the NIMHD goal of providing all Americans with an equal opportunity to a long, healthy and productive life.