Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) Massey Cancer Center (MCC) will serve as the primary component site for an NCORP Minority/Underserved Community Site (MU-NCORP) UG1 award in partnership with 6 collaborating community affiliate sites in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Over 30% of patients seen in the MCC MU-NCORP are from minority populations, primarily African Americans. This proposal emphasizes the unique urban and rural population available to the MCC MU-NCORP, the history of extensive participation by primary health care providers and specialists, in particular, surgeons, pediatric/AYA oncologists, gynecologic surgeons, radiation oncologists, neuro-oncologists, and medical oncologists in clinical research, and VCU initiatives in cancer outreach conducted at rural sites across Virginia. This community-based NCORP, focused on participation in clinical research of minority populations, was initially funded as a Minority-Based Community Clinical Oncology Program in 1990 and has been continuously funded, including since 2014 as a MU-NCORP. The MCC MU-NCORP has affiliations with 5 Research Bases (Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology, Children?s Oncology Group, ECOG-ACRIN Cancer Research Group, NRG Oncology, and the Wake Forest NCORP Research Base). Our application describes the working relationships with the Research Bases and the focus of the MCC MU-NCORP to accrue significant numbers of minority participants in cancer control and prevention, treatment/imaging, and cancer care delivery clinical research studies. Working relationships of the primary site?s investigators, research staff, and support personnel with the affiliate sites are also described. Accordingly, the specific aims of this proposal are (1) to increase the overall enrollment of racial/ethnic and rural populations in our catchment areas to NCI-approved studies, with a greater focus on cancer control research, cancer prevention research, and cancer care delivery research (CCDR), in addition to cancer treatment research; (2) to collaborate with the NCORP Research Bases by (i) providing insight into relevance for community practices during concept development, (ii) identifying care disparities our catchment areas that should be studied, and (iii) providing input on feasibility during concept and protocol development; (3) to exceed the required annual minimum participation in CCDR protocols; (4) to participate in biospecimen collection for biobanks that serve as scientific resources for NCORP Research Bases; and (5) to participate in NCORP initiatives, such as DCP-001, to document screening efforts for clinical trial enrollment and to address cancer health disparities. The proposed research is relevant to the mission of the NCI as MCC and the community affiliates will bring cancer clinical trials and research to low-income, minority, and medically underserved individuals who otherwise would not have access to such studies. Targeting the minority/underserved populations in their communities is a critical step toward alleviating the cancer care disparities prevalent in these populations.
The proposed research is relevant to public health as it will bring cancer clinical trials and cancer care delivery research to minority and underserved individuals in their own communities. The inclusion of these individuals in the research will both broaden the applicability of the science and help to reduce health care disparities experienced by minority and underserved cancer patients.
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