Katherine Yeager, Ph.D., RN

Funded by Hooters of America, LLC

Cancer clinical trials provide much of the evidence for clinical guidelines and standards of care. All patients should have access to the latest treatments and the high quality care that typifies clinical trials. Unfortunately, a small percentage of patients enroll in cancer clinical trials, especially minorities. The purpose of this project is to develop and test an easy to understand culturally informed video with a racially diverse group of breast cancer patients and assess the effect of the video on clinical trial enrollment. This video, which will be easily accessed via smart phones, tablets, and computers, will provide standardized communication between the patient and healthcare provider and will address benefits and barriers through patient and physician stories.   The setting for this project is Winship Cancer Institute, Georgia’s only cancer center designated by the National Cancer Institute. Our multidisciplinary research team will complete this study through the following four step process: 1) form a Community Advisory Board composed of individuals diagnosed with breast cancer to provide input 2) establish a tracking method to identify potential breast cancer clinical trials participants; 3) develop the video; and 4) pilot test the video.   Simple, effective interventions are needed to support the cancer clinical trials enrollment process. This multi-disciplinary effort is a first step to provide educational programs to a diverse group of patients with the end goal of increasing enrollment rates. Results of this study will inform future educational programs and can be adapted to other minority groups.

Christopher Flowers, M.D., MS

Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) is the most common blood cancer. Most patients with DLBCL are cured with treatment. People are more likely to die if they do not get standard treatment or if they have a worse type of DLBCL. DLBCL can be divided into two major types: GCB disease and ABC disease. 90% of GCB patients and 44% of ABC patients are alive 3 years after standard treatment. We think that the same number of ABC and GCB DLBCLs occur. We do not know if there are racial differences. We saw that African-American patients get DLBCL at a younger age than white patients and more often die. We also saw that in the past black patients did not get standard treatment as often. We want to understand why African-Americans have worse survival. We will examine differences in the numbers of ABC DLBCLs in the population of the state of Georgia. We will collect DNA to examine the genes linked to ABC DLBCL. This will be the first statewide study to collect data on the genetics of DLBCL, the treatment that patients received, and their survival. From this, we plan to identify which factors are most important to target to eliminate racial disparities in cancer survival.

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