The objectives to expand the Ponce School of Medicine-Moffitt Cancer Center Partnership are to: 1) Maintain a comprehensive administrative infrastructure and procedures to perform critical evaluations of the projects and cores, solve problems, maintain quality, and strategically plan for continued expansion of the Partnership, and provide support for the development of the successful careers of the Partnership faculty. 2) Bring together in close collaboration basic scientists at PSM and MCC to conduct research projects: this will provide scientists at PSM access to experienced cancer research scientists as collaborators and mentors as well as advanced technologies, to advance their careers and the impact of their science. Reciprocally, the MCC scientists will benefit from becoming involved in new research projects focused on the unique biology of Hispanic patient cancers. 3) Develop a comprehensive training pipeline to produce a cadre of cancer translational research scientists, both basic and clinical, to address the shortage of Hispanic academicians on the faculties of academic health centers in Puerto Rico and the mainland US. This will produce scientists who are knowledgeable about the issues related to Hispanic cancer health disparities and motivated to perform research to address these disparities. 4) Conduct rigorous outreach research to learn the most effective ways of communicating cancer related information, and expand community outreach programs incorporating these discoveries. This will improve participation in clinical research and biobanking, and the overall health of the Hispanic community in Florida served by the MCC and in Puerto Rico. 5) Expand at the PSM tertiary referral clinical oncology services, educational opportunities for community oncologists and oncology fellows, and patient access to clinical trials to improve cancer care for the currently underserved population of Southwest Puerto Rico. 6) Establish for the first time a high quality tumor bank of tissues from Puerto Rican cancer patients that will provide a unique and valuable resource for the basic research scientists to make discoveries that are specific for Hispanic cancer patients that will provide insight for th development of biomarker driven personalized medicine for this population.
The continued academic partnership between the PSM and the MCC will lead to improved outcomes for Hispanic cancer patients in Puerto Rico and Florida who are currently underserved with respect to cancer care, personalized medicine, and participation in clinical research.
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