M. D. Anderson Center Expands Research Efforts on Minority Health
Program aligns 10th anniversary with National Minority Cancer Awareness Week
M. D. Anderson Backgrounder 04/23/10
The increasing number of minorities diagnosed with cancer has inspired a variety of initiatives at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center focusing on minority health through research, education and community relations.
Established 10 years ago, the Center for Research on Minority Health (CRMH), has developed diverse programs to address health disparities in the minority and underserved communities through research and intervention. The center, led by Lovell A. Jones, Ph.D., professor in M. D. Anderson’s Health Disparities Research Department and director of CRMH, has recently added new federally funded programs to continue delivering resources to eliminate health disparities in underserved populations.
Research shows African-Americans have the highest cancer incidence rate of any racial or ethnic group, and the highest rate of cancer-related deaths. Further findings, reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, reveal cancer incidence among minorities is expected to increase dramatically over the next 20 years, by 99 percent, compared to a 31 percent increase for Caucasians.*
“Reducing the prevalence of cancer among minorities is an enormous undertaking and will involve continued collaborations, funding and community involvement,” said Jones. “It is my hope that CRMH will continue to be instrumental in leading the efforts to improve minority health.”
Programs Coordinated By CRMH:
Project EXPORT addresses environmental health and long-term multidisciplinary research in minority communities.
EMPaCT (Enhancing Minority Participation in Clinical Trials) is a new program funded by the National Institutes of Health Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities with American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds to support coordinated efforts to recruit and retain minorities in clinical trials.
Gulf Coast Transdisciplinary Research Recovery Center for Community Health (TRRCCH) is a new program that brings together a consortium of seven medical and public health institutions to address challenges affecting the health of those living in Gulf Coast communities prone to disasters and environmental contamination.
Department of Defense Prostate Research Program focuses on decision making regarding screening and treatment in minority populations.
Women’s Healthy Eating and Living (WHEL) Study is an ongoing multi-center randomized controlled trial examining the hypothesis that a plant-based diet affects the course of cancer and longevity.
Project FAROS targets Houston-area Hispanics with information and guidance on health care resources to identify barriers to health care and to improve the use of cancer prevention, early detection and treatment services.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Demonstration Project is a national project assessing the costs and benefits of cancer screening and patient navigation services for Hispanic/Latino Medicare recipients. The CRMH site is one of six institutions involved in this national study and one of two focused on Hispanic/Latino populations.
This year, CRMH is celebrating its 10-year anniversary during the third week of April in honor of National Minority Cancer Awareness Week. More than 20 years ago, Jones initiated legislative action that would bring national attention to health disparities by establishing a nationally recognized week. NMCAW brings community leaders and health care professionals throughout the country together to focus on educating minorities, discovering research initiatives, developing interventions and building collaborations with other organizations.
"A decade later, it is truly gratifying to see the pioneering work of the congressionally mandated Center for Research on Minority Health using a biopsychosocial approach to address health disparities in Houston, the state of Texas and the nation is now being recognized," Jones said. “During this 10th anniversary year we will celebrate the center's accomplishments and implement plans for the next decade.”
CRMH plans to continue developing more integrated programs in patient care, increasing minority participation in clinical trials and disseminating research findings to the community.
For more information on CRMH research, education, clinical and community projects, please visit the M. D. Anderson Web site. 04/23/10
*Future of Cancer Incidence in the United States: Burdens Upon an Aging, Changing Nation, JCO Jun 10 2009: 2758-2765