Pavani Chalasani, M.D.

Funded by Hooters of America, LLC

The goal of “Campaign to Improve Access to Clinical Trials” at the University of Arizona Cancer Center (UACC) is to increase the clinical trial access to a diverse population in Arizona. Dr. Chalasani, Breast Cancer Disease Oriented Team Leader, will oversee the campaign to improves access by involving the breast multidisciplinary team, patient navigators and physician liaisons to develop educational materials and outreach programs. Patients and community physicians will be targeted through proposed outreach programs by developing targeted educational materials. Materials and training will be provided to introduce and educate about clinical trials to patients early by various members of their cancer team. The goal of this campaign is to become a model for other disease teams and cancer centers to implement to improve clinical trial enrollment.

Pavani Chalasani, MD

Funded by Hooters of America, LLC

The goal of “Campaign to Improve Access to Clinical Trials” at the University of Arizona Cancer Center (UACC) is to increase the clinical trial access to a diverse population in Arizona. Dr. Chalasani, Breast Cancer Disease Oriented Team Leader, will oversee the campaign to improves access by involving the breast multidisciplinary team, patient navigators and physician liaisons to develop educational materials and outreach programs. Patients and community physicians will be targeted through proposed outreach programs by developing targeted educational materials. Materials and training will be provided to introduce and educate about clinical trials to patients early by various members of their cancer team. The goal of this campaign is to become a model for other disease teams and cancer centers to implement to improve clinical trial enrollment. 

Pavani Chalasani, M.D.

Funded by Hooters of America, LLC

The goal of “Campaign to Improve Access to Clinical Trials” at the University of Arizona Cancer Center (UACC) is to increase the clinical trial access to a diverse population in Arizona. Dr. Chalasani, Breast Cancer Disease Oriented Team Leader, will oversee the campaign to improves access by involving the breast multidisciplinary team, patient navigators and physician liaisons to develop educational materials and outreach programs. Patients and community physicians will be targeted through proposed outreach programs by developing targeted educational materials. Materials and training will be provided to introduce and educate about clinical trials to patients early by various members of their cancer team. The goal of this campaign is to become a model for other disease teams and cancer centers to implement to improve clinical trial enrollment.

Elizabeth Calhoun, Ph.D.

Funded by Hooters of America, LLC

The University of Arizona Cancer Center (UACC) Arizona TrialRunners aims to increase the number and diversity of breast cancer clinical trial participants through a culturally relevant outreach and education campaign. Directing the campaign is Dr. Elizabeth Calhoun, Associate Director for Population Sciences at the University of Arizona Cancer Center, along with the support of nurse and outreach navigators to target breast cancer patients, as well as physician liaisons from Banner Health and Dignity Health to reach community physicians and members beyond the UACC’s established patient catchment area. The collaboration leaders of Arizona TrialRunners are developing a strategic plan to improve the participation from persons that are not typically enrolled in clinical trials, such as racial and ethnic minority populations, the elderly, and the underinsured. Innovative engagement techniques include creating an environment of awareness for all faculty, staff and patients to improve effective clinical trial recruitment strategies for UACC and its statewide partners. Arizona TrialRunners hopes that this campaign will become a model for cancer centers to execute in an effort to improve expansion of clinical trial enrollment and to improve health outcomes.

Terry Badger, Ph.D., RN, PMHCNS-BC, FAAN

Funded by Hooters of America, LLC

The purpose of our study is to test psychosocial interventions to improve quality of life (QOL) (psychological, physical, social and spiritual well-being) for Latinas with breast cancer and their family members or friends who are helping them during their cancer journey. Latinas and their family members/friends often experience severe psychological distress during cancer treatment and this distress can negatively affect health and well-being. Participants in our study are assigned to either an 8-week supportive health education intervention or an 8-week telephone interpersonal counseling intervention. Both the health education and the counseling is provided over the telephone, and each person who participates in the study is called separately. Our trained health care workers call the women and their family members/friends at times that are convenient for them. Sessions are about 30 minutes on the phone each week for 8 weeks. Using the telephone to deliver this service removes many of the access barriers normally associated with counseling or health education. Participants can receive help in the privacy of their own homes over the telephone. In addition to participating in the 8 education or counseling sessions, we ask the women and their family members/friends to complete some questionnaires 4 times over the next 6 months to determine if the intervention was helpful to them. All study related materials, assessments and sessions are conducted in English or Spanish, depending on the person’s preference. At the end of our study, we also tell them about any other clinical trials that may be of interest.

Muhammed Murtaza, M.D., Ph.D.

Rectal cancer affects 40,000 individuals in the US every year. The primary treatment is surgical resection when possible but a growing number of patients receive pre-operative chemo-radiation therapy before surgery to improve outcomes. In up to 30% of these patients, the tissue removed from the rectum after chemo-radiation is found to have no evidence of the original tumor. However, at present, the only accurate way to find out if the tumor responded completely to pre-operative chemo-radiation is to go through with surgery. There are no established biomarkers that can identify patients with complete response before surgery so that they may be potentially saved from a morbid operation. In previous work, we have shown that cancer mutations can be detected in blood plasma from advanced cancer patients. We have also shown that changes in the circulating levels of these mutations correlate with tumor burden. In this project, we are evaluating detection of cancer mutations in plasma from patients with rectal cancer as a potential biomarker. Our goal is to identify patients with rectal cancer whose tumors have completely receded after completing chemo-radiation before they under go surgery. These results will set the stage for prospective follow-up studies to enable biomarker-guided non-operative management of localized rectal cancers.

 

 

 

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