The geographic area served by the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center includes medically underserved populations that disproportionately bear the burden of cancer. Groups that are disproportionately affected by cancer incidence, prevalence, mortality and survivorship may be characterized by: race or ethnicity, socioeconomic status, age, sex or gender, disability, health insurance status, or geographic location. Populations that experience disparities often do not have access to or receive high-quality healthcare, which is a major driver of the problem.
In October 2018, the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center was awarded a three-year $3.2 million grant from the National Cancer Institute to investigate colorectal and breast cancer health disparities. The P20 is led by principal investigators Nathan A. Berger, MD, Monica Webb Hooper, PhD and Li Li, MD, PhD.
The grant is one of only four Specialized Programs of Research Excellence (SPORE) Planning Grant P20 awards given across the nation to address health disparities. It will provide the infrastructure for a new, comprehensive research program to study cancer health disparities at both molecular and population levels.
The two main Research Projects place an emphasis on colon adenoma, precursor lesion of colorectal cancer (CRC), and on breast cancer, which are the two leading causes of cancer death in the United States and the industrialized world. In addition, the Developmental Research Program (DRP) projects extend efforts to prostate cancer and socioeconomic, demographic and behavioral factors contributing to cancer disparities. Two core resources, Biospecimen and Administration, support all projects and also establish a strong programmatic infrastructure for transdisciplinary translational research in cancer health disparities.