The UMass Boston - Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center

U54 CANCER RESEARCH PARTNERSHIP

U54 Partnership

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:

  • Continued development of rigorous, collaborative cancer and disparities-related research, through research projects and pilots, and the Survey and Statistical Methods Core;
  • To contribute to the development of a robust and sustainable cancer research program at UMass Boston;
  • Expansion of the cancer training program, through the Training Core and training project, “Post-Doctoral Program in Nursing Cancer and Health Disparities”, which is an extension of the Accelerated Nursing PhD program;
  • Development of a robust Cancer Outreach Program, that includes both a research project, as well as outreach activities which will expand and strengthen existing relationships and activities for both institutions;
  • Development of a vibrant Partnership that attracts significant interest among existing faculty and potential faculty hires at both institutions;
  • Career development of less experienced faculty to build strong externally funded research programs.

About Cancer Health Disparities:

According to the National Cancer Institute (NCI), cancer risk is highest amongst individuals of lower socioeconomic status, amongst those who are undereducated and underemployed and also amongst those from racially and ethnically disenfranchised populations.

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:

Overall Cancer Incidence and Death Rates 

All Sites

Racial/Ethnic Group

Incidence

Death

All

470.1

192.7

African American/Black

504.1

238.8

Asian/Pacific Islander

314.9

115.5

Hispanic/Latino

356.0

129.1

American Indian/Alaska Native

297.6

160.4

White

477.5

190.7

Statistics are for 2000-2004, age-adjusted to the 2000 U.S. standard million population, and represent the number of new cases of invasive cancer and deaths per year per 100,000 men and women.
(Source: National Cancer Institute, 2010)

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. 


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