A Partnership to Tackle Cancer Health Disparities

Health

Cancer impacts all populations in the United States, but certain ethnic populations bear a disproportionate burden of cancer compared with other groups. For instance, liver cancer has a higher incidence rate among African Americans and Hispanics than among Caucasians. Diana Chow, UH College of Pharmacy Pharmaceutics professor and director of its Institute for Drug Education and Research, is leading the UH side of a partnership with Baylor to develop a joint cancer drug discovery and research education program aimed at cancer disparities.Associate professor of Pharmacology and Clinical Pharmacy Meghana V. Trivedi is leading the cancer research education component of the joint program. Although cancer affects all populations in the United States, certain ethnic populations bear a disproportionate burden of cancer compared with other groups, according to the National Cancer Institute. The federal agency has backed up its statistics with a $2.17 million grant to develop a joint cancer drug discovery/development and research education program to focus on cancers that have increased risk of incidence and/or mortality among underserved communities, namely African-Americans, Hispanics and Native Americans.
The program is a partnership between University of Houston College of Pharmacy and the Dan L Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center (DLDCCC) at Baylor College of Medicine. Diana Chow, UH College of Pharmacy Pharmaceutics professor and director of its Institute for Drug Education and Research, will lead the effort at UH.  Martin M. Matzuk, Baylor College of Medicine director for the Center for Drug Discovery at Baylor, will head the alliance there.
“Liver cancer has a higher incidence rate among African Americans and Hispanics than among Caucasians. Certain types of breast and prostate cancers have higher incidence and mortality in the African-American population,” said Chow. The research will seek to find new drugs to treat these cancers using preclinical models derived from these patients.
“We will use expertise in cancer drug discovery platforms at …

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