University of Massachusetts Boston–Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center
Funded by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) in September 2010, the U54 Minority Institution/Cancer Center Partnership Grant allows UMass Boston and DF/HCC to collaborate on research aimed at addressing issues of cancer health disparities in disenfranchised populations.
Through research programs in the areas of basic science, population science, student and investigator training and community outreach, the partnership serves to improve research, training, and outreach opportunities for under-represented minority (URM) students, fellows, and scientists and to develop information and resources toward closing the cancer health disparities gap.
The Primary Goals of the UMass Boston-DF/HCC Partnership are:
- Objectives in Research: Develop a rigorous and collaborative transdisciplinary cancer and disparities-related research program, and ramp up opportunities to generate new research collaborations and cross-institutional networking via frequent and engaging scientific meetings, seminars and roundtables;
- Objectives in Research Education: Develop a robust cancer training program via the Research Education Core and support the career development of early stage investigators;
- Objectives in Outreach: Expand the cancer disparities and community outreach programs at DF/HCC and UMass Boston through an innovative, state-of-the-art Outreach Core;
- Objectives in Shared Resources: Provide critical methodological and statistical services to basic and population science research projects, incubate novel, cross-disciplinary research and provide access to genomics technologies via the Research Design and Analysis and Genomics Shared Resource Core;
- Objectives in Infrastructure: Continue investments in research infrastructure via faculty hires in cancer and cancer disparities research at UMass Boston and cancer disparities at DF/HCC; increase external grants, and build synergistic efforts with the Center for Personalized Cancer Therapy (CPCT) at UMass Boston and the Center for Translational Communication Science at DFCI/Harvard Chan to stimulate collaborative research;
- Objectives in Sustainability: Ensure sustainability for research projects, Core initiatives and training programs via dedicated planning and execution of grant matching with NIH-mechanisms, foundation support and/or institutional support.
About Cancer Health Disparities:
According to the National Cancer Institute (NCI), members of minority racial/ethnic groups in the United States are more likely to be poor and medically underserved (that is, to have little or no access to effective health care) than whites, and limited access to quality health care is a major contributor to disparities.
Although cancer deaths have declined for both Whites and African Americans/Blacks living in the United States, African Americans/Blacks continue to suffer the greatest burden for each of the most common types of cancer. For all cancers combined, the death rate is 25 percent higher for African Americans/Blacks than for Whites. Incidence and death rates for all cancers among U.S. racial/ethnic groups are shown below:
The number of new cases of cancer is 454.8 per 100,000 men and women per year, based on 2008-2012 cases. (Source: National Cancer Institute, 2016)
Through a U56/U54 Minority Institution/Cancer Center Partnership Grant, The University of Massachusetts-Boston (UMass Boston) and Dana-Farber/ Harvard Cancer Center (DF/HCC) collaborate to address these issues of cancer health disparities. Additionally, the partnership serves to improve research, training, and outreach opportunities for under-represented minority (URM) students, fellows, and scientists. Through research programs in the areas of basic science, population science, student and investigator training and community outreach, the partnership aims to address the rate of cancer occurrence in underserved populations and to develop information and resources toward closing the cancer health disparities gap.