|NCI Awards Drs. Mitchell, Myers Grants to Study Cancer in Minority and Underserved Populations
Two Jefferson researchers are among those receiving a total of $60 million in grants from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to address the unequal burden of cancer within certain special populations in the United States over the next five years.
Thomas Jefferson University is the only institution among 17 nationally to receive two grants.
The Special Populations Networks for Cancer Awareness Research and Training are intended to build relationships between large research institutions and community-based programs.
NCI is committed to discovering why cancer disproportionately affects certain populations, and one way to understand this is to encourage minority participation in clinical trials. As a result of continuing efforts, nearly 20 percent of the more than 20,000 patients entering treatment clinical trials every year are from an ethnic minority group.
Jefferson’s recipients are Edith P. Mitchell, MD, Clinical Professor of Medicine, and Ronald E. Myers, PhD, Associate Professor of Medicine.
Dr. Mitchell’s grant calls for forming a multiple-site network for cancer control with the National Medical Association. Initial target populations are African-Americans in Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia and the District of Columbia.
Dr. Myers’ grant will develop new cancer prevention and control research programs that are culturally appropriate to multi-cultural, minority populations in Philadelphia and feasible to implement in community-based primary care practices serving minorities.
Richard D. Klausner, MD, NCI director, announced the $60 million research program where a total of 18 grants at 17 institutions will create or implement cancer control, prevention, research and training programs in minority and underserved populations. The cooperative relationships established by the Networks will be used to foster cancer awareness activities, support minority enrollment in clinical trials, and encourage and promote the development of minority junior biomedical researchers.
“This initiative is one of the largest of its kind in the Federal government. It is designed to encourage people from the community to work with scientists to find ways of addressing important questions about the burden of cancer in minority communities,” said Dr. Klausner.