Comprehensive SDSU-UC San Diego Cancer Center Partnership will support programs ranging from studies of the potential differences in basic biology of cancers in c
San Diego State University (SDSU) and the Moores Cancer Center at the University of California, San Diego (UC San Diego) are joining forces to help explain and eliminate cancer disparities. The five-year combined $15 million grant from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) of the National Institutes of Health will fund research, education and community outreach programs in the San Diego region with the goal of reducing differences in cancer incidence and deaths in the population.
The Comprehensive SDSU-UC San Diego Cancer Center Partnership, the only such program in California, will support programs ranging from studies of the potential differences in basic biology of cancers in certain populations, including specific ethnic and minority groups, to outreach, training, education and prevention. The partnership brings together the UC San Diego’s Moores Cancer Center, the region’s only NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center and academic medical center, with SDSU, a university with strong ties to a broad segment of the region, taking advantage of the strengths of both.
“Because we have such diversity here in San Diego, the issue of cancer disparity is acute,” said Partnership co-principal investigator Stanley Maloy, Ph.D., dean of SDSU’s College of Sciences. “This new collaboration between SDSU and UC San Diego is a true partnership that will make inroads in this important area of cancer research and directly benefit the health of San Diegans.”
“The NCI wants to develop a stronger national cancer program aimed at understanding the reasons behind the significant cancer disparities and the impact on minority populations,” said Partnership co-principal investigator John Carethers, M.D., professor of medicine and chief of the division of gastroenterology at the UC San Diego Medical Center and Moores UCSD Cancer Center. Carethers’ research focuses on the higher rates of colorectal cancer in African Americans. “This award helps address sometimes neglected cancer research that is specific to minority populations, particularly here in the San Diego area.”
Disparities in Cancer Rates, Outcomes
According to the NCI, differences in the incidence, prevalence, and death rates of diseases, including cancer, exist among specific population groups in the United States. For example, more American Caucasian women develop breast cancer, but African American women are 15 percent more likely to die from the disease. African Americans have the highest rates for colorectal cancer of any racial group in the U.S. and have higher rates of prostate cancer and present at younger ages than other groups. While breast cancer is diagnosed about 40 percent less often in Hispanic women than in non-Hispanic women, it is more frequently diagnosed at a later stage in Hispanics. Cancer treatment for minority populations, particularly those in socio-economically disadvantaged areas, generally lag behind non-minority groups.
“The NCI is trying to eliminate cancer, but that won’t be achieved unless we close the gap that still exists among different populations,” said Moores UCSD Cancer Center co-principal investigator Ana Navarro, Ph.D., associate professor of family and preventive medicine at UC San Diego. “In order to eliminate cancer in our communities, we need to ramp up efforts in underserved communities.”
“We want to understand why these disparities exist and work to improve or eliminate them altogether,” said co-principal investigator Elizabeth Klonoff, Ph.D., professor of psychology at SDSU and adjunct professor of psychiatry at UC San Diego, whose research looks at the role ethnicity and gender play in health, with emphasis on cancer-related diseases.
About San Diego State University
San Diego State University is the oldest and largest higher education institution in the San Diego region. Since it was founded in 1897, the university has grown to offer bachelor’s degrees in 81 areas, master’s degrees in 74 areas and doctorates in 16 areas. SDSU’s more than 34,000 students participate in an academic curriculum distinguished by direct contact with faculty and an increasing international emphasis that prepares them for a global future. For more information, visit www.sdsu.edu.
About Moores UCSD Cancer Center
The Moores UCSD Cancer Center, part of the UC San Diego Medical Center, is one of the nation’s 41 National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers, combining research, clinical care and community outreach to advance the prevention, treatment and cure of cancer. For more information, visit www.cancer.ucsd.edu.
Contact: Gina Jacobs, SDSU, (619) 594-4563, firstname.lastname@example.org
Steven Benowitz, (619) 543-6163, email@example.com