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Cervical Cancer in El Salvador: Matching Needs with Sustainable Solutions

Cheryl L Willman

1 Collaborator(s)

Funding source

National Cancer Institute (NIH)
The Cancer Control (CaC) Research Program is a newly restructured transdisciplinary program that serves as the hub for cancer control and population science research within the University of New Mexico Cancer Center (UNMCC) and the State of New Mexico (NM), our catchment area. The Program's overall goal is to reduce cancer incidence, morbidity, and mortality, particularly in the unique multiethnic and underserved populations of NM. Disparities research is a cross-cutting theme that fosters scientific focus and synergy across the research areas. Through vigorous strategic program planning and evaluation, recruitment of 9 new investigators to enhance expertise in molecular epidemiology and behavioral/community intervention, and guidance of the UNMCC External Advisory Committee, the CaC Program is now focused on three areas of cancer research: 1) Risk Prediction and Risk Reduction; 2) Screening; and 3) Post-Diagnosis Outcomes and Survivorship. Unique scientific strengths include research addressing disparities (geographic, race/ethnic, socioeconomic, medically underserved), particularly in etiologic, outcome, and intervention studies in Hispanics. By drawing on established and new partnerships, the Program is also building research that addresses American Indian cancer disparities and priorities identified by NM Tribes, Pueblos, and Indian Nations. Major scientific accomplishments in Risk Prediction and Risk Reduction include the identification of social, lifestyle, and genetic factors associated with lung cancer risk; gene-environment interactions in melanoma risk; and development and dissemination of a novel telehealth strategy for the prevention of hepatocellular cancer. In Screening, members have developed a statewide surveillance program of screening and diagnosis for cervical pre-cancer and cancer that informs real- world cervical cancer prevention through human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccination, screening practice and outcomes. Members have also identified barriers to use of early detection tests in colorectal cancer and have developed strategies to overcome these barriers to improve screening in underserved populations. In Post- Diagnosis Outcomes and Survivorship, members have identified factors that contribute to disparities in post- treatment outcomes and survivorship in endometrial and breast cancer and are developing interventions. Led by Linda Cook, Ph.D. and Anita Kinney, Ph.D., RN, the CaC Program is comprised of 28 members (19 full and 9 associate) from 7 UNM schools and departments, the Lovelace Respiratory Institute, and the Indian Health Service Unit of the Centers for Disease Control whose work is supported by $19,276,863 million in annual direct cost funding, of which $15,429,911 million is peer-reviewed and $3,137,820 million is from NCI as of 9/1/2014. The discoveries made in this Program have resulted 294 publications, of which 19% are intra-programmatic collaborations and 16% are inter-programmatic collaborations; with a total UNMCC and external collaborative publication level of 30% and 80%, respectively. PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE: OVERALL COMPONENT: THE UNIVERSITY OF NEW MEXICO CANCER CENTER Designated as one of the nation's National Cancer Institute Cancer Centers since 2005, the University of New Mexico Cancer Center is a cancer treatment, research, and education and training center that applies the scientific expertise of its investigators to those cancers that have high incidence, mortality, or disparity in the multiethnic and underserved populations of New Mexico. The Center is a hub for promoting discovery through its research, education and training, clinical care, statewide outreach programs and networks for community participatory research. The Center connects scientists, healthcare professionals, and communities to translate its discoveries to cancer clinical trials, and cancer control and behavioral interventions that reduce the cancer burden of New Mexico and serve as a national model. The goal of the Center is to assure that all of the people in New Mexico, its catchment area, have access to high quality cancer care and collaborate in and benefit from advances in cancer research.

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