? There are approximately 36 million Latinos known to be living in the US and by the year 2050, this group will constitute 25 percent of the US population. Cancer is the second leading cause of death among this rapidly growing minority group. Latinos have higher rates of cancers with infectious etiologies. For other sites, despite lower incidence, Latinos have more late stage, higher mortality-to-incidence ratios, and inferior survival compared to Caucasians. Lifestyle changes associated with acculturation may also increase future cancer risks. The greater Washington-Baltimore tri-state region (DC, Maryland, Virginia) has one of the largest urban concentrations of Latinos in the US. Latinos in this region are predominately of Central and South American ancestry, recently immigrated, un-insured, and largely monolingual. We developed the Latin American Cancer Research Coalition (LACRC) as a local network in DC to address the unique needs of this Latino subgroup. In our first 4 years, the LACRC trained community coordinators, students, and faculty, submitted an R25T post-doctoral grant, obtained pilot and career development funding, published manuscripts, and disseminated results with the community. We propose to expand the LACRC as a regional network. The overarching goal of this regional network is to document, understand, and reduce cancer disparities in Latinos. LACRC partners include multidisciplinary, multicultural, and bilingual researchers and staff from the Washington Hospital Center/Cancer Institute, Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, Georgetown university, 19 community safety net clinics across our region, the Inova-Fairfax community hospital, and consultants and advisors from the regional Departments of Health and Tumor Registries, the Council of Latino Agencies, the National Council of La Raza, the North American Association of Central Cancer Registries, the regional NCI Cancer Information Service and Spanish-language support line, the ACS, and others.
LACRC aims are to: 1) enhance capacity, especially for data collection on Latinos; 2) use the PRECEDE-PROCEED model to guide participatory research and use results to inform education, training, and planning; and 3) obtain funding, influence policy, and evaluate progress. The structure of the LACRC is ideally suited as a platform for bridging the gaps between research discovery and delivery, and developing, evaluating, and disseminating culturally competent interventions across the spectrum of cancer control. Our approach should be broadly portable to reducing disparities in other US urban Latino communities ? ?
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