Markey Cancer Center's (MCC) Cancer Prevention and Control (CP) Research Program unites highly complementary strengths in the areas of population-based research and community-based cancer control research with the overarching goal of reducing cancer disparities in Kentucky with an emphasis on the state's Appalachian and rural populations. Kentucky has the highest overall cancer incidence and mortality rates among all 50 United States. Alarmingly, the cancer incidence and mortality rates in Appalachian Kentucky are far higher than the rates for the non-Appalachian area of the state. These elevated rates are driven by a variety of underlying factors including low socioeconomic status, low educational attainment, high risk behaviors, cultural barriers, and environmental exposures. Strengths of the CP program include studies focused on uncovering the role environmental exposures play in Kentucky's high cancer incidence rates, testing intervention programs that address unique cultural barriers, and smoking cessation policy development initiatives. CP program members are also national leaders in developing population-based methods and measures that facilitate inter-programmatic cancer research. The CP program combines these strengths to address 3 thematic areas: identification of social, cultural, behavioral, genetic and environmental factors that contribute to the elevated cancer incidence and mortality rates (Theme 1); design, testing, implementation and evaluation of intervention strategies that address identified risk factors (barriers) and reduce the cancer burden (Theme 2); and development of population-based methods and measures that facilitate inter-programmatic cancer research directed at more precisely identifying the distribution of treatment patterns and biomarkers in the population (Theme 3). Most recently, the CP program recruited 2 National Cancer Institute-funded cancer molecular epidemiologists to build on its unique research resources. The current 28-member CP team draws from 5 colleges and 12 departments at the University of Kentucky, thus promoting active interdisciplinary translational research. CP productivity is reflected by total annual external cancer-related funding of over $9.7M ($6.7M annual direct costs) and 245 total publications in the current funding period, 30 (12%) of which are inter-programmatic, 83 (34%) intra-programmatic and 162 (66%) inter-institutional. CP research encompasses all segments of the cancer control continuum: prevention, early detection, treatment and survivorship. CP studies address a number of cancer sites including those that disproportionately contribute to Kentucky's high cancer burden (i.e. lung, colon, breast and cervical cancers). Thus, the CP program is integral to achieving the overall MCC mission to reduce cancer morbidity and mortality in the Commonwealth.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Center Core Grants (P30)
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Subcommittee I - Transistion to Independence (NCI)
Program Officer
Roberson, Sonya
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University of Kentucky
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