Screening, Prevention, Etiology, and Cancer Survivorship Program Summary The goal of the SPECS Program is to address the broad spectrum of cancer control, including etiology, prevention, early detection, treatment, and survivorship.
The specific aims of the SPECS Program are to 1) prevent cancer by identifying risk factors and developing novel products and public policies to reduce exposure, 2) detect cancer at an early stage and understand the risks and benefits of diagnosis and treatment options, and 3) identify factors that impact prognosis and quality of life among cancer survivors. The SPECS Program is led by Anne Joseph, MD, MPH; Heather Nelson, MPH, PhD; and Karen Kuntz, ScD and has 49 members, representing 18 departments, 8 schools or colleges, and 4 external organizations. For the last budget year, these members were supported by $2.3 million in direct research funding from the National Cancer Institute; support from all sponsored sources totaled $8.0 million in direct research funding. Since 2013, Program members have published 1564 papers (6% in high-impact journals), 20% of which resulted from intraprogrammatic collaborations, 12% from interprogrammatic collaborations, and 85% from external collaborations. Since 2013, 185 clinical trials in all clinical research categories have opened under this programmatic area and have accrued 13,122 subjects. The Masonic Cancer Center has provided substantial value to the program, including access to shared resources, investment in the recruitment of a new faculty member, funding of 21 pilot projects totaling over $500,000, and 5 research retreats. The SPECS Program research portfolio spans the cancer continuum, including the study of etiology, prevention, early detection, diagnosis, treatment, and survivorship. Crosscutting themes include communication, health disparities, health promotion, biomarkers, epidemiology, decision modeling and cost-effectiveness analysis, and public policy. SPECS research is directed at the cancer burdens of the diverse populations of Minnesota, including the needs of new immigrant, Native American, and other vulnerable populations. SPECS researcher has particular focus on cervical, colon, lung, and prostate cancers, mirroring the disease incidences of our populations. SPECS investigators make excellent use of Masonic Cancer Center Shared Resources, especially Analytical Biochemistry, Biostatistics, and Clinical Informatics. There is an active training component, including T32s on cancer and health disparities, pediatric cancer epidemiology, and health services research. SPECS directly addresses several Scientific Priorities for Growth (SPG) including, SPG4 ? use biomarkers to individualize cancer prevention, SPG5 ? Establish a new Minnesota-based cohort, and SPG6 ? Develop effective methods to increase adoption of evidence-based cancer prevention behaviors by vulnerable populations with disproportionate cancer burden in Minnesota.
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