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Keywords:

  • AANCART;
  • cancer;
  • Asian;
  • disparities;
  • pilot study

Abstract

The landmark Institute of Medicine Report on the “Unequal Burden of Cancer” urgently called for efforts to reduce cancer disparities by conducting research that could rapidly translate laboratory and clinical findings to benefit large segments of society. It also called for intensifying efforts to produce well-trained minority researchers as a way to increase the quantity, quality and community relevance of cancer control research. This manuscript summarized our strategies and successes in these two areas. Over a five year period, the Los Angeles site of the NCI-funded Asian American Network for Cancer Awareness, Research, and Training (AANCART-LA) conducted intensive community based cancer awareness activities through a coalition of over 20 Asian serving community organizations. In addition, a major focus of AANCART-LA was on increasing community-relevant research and on training scientists to conduct research among Asians. Strategies to reach these goals included a focus on pilot studies as a way of introducing the community to research, selection of promising junior scientists to submit applications for pilot funding, and close mentoring of these individuals by seasoned investigators. We describe four pilot project proposals that were selected for funding by the NCI peer review process. In addition, AANCART-LA was able to obtain peer reviewed funding for several other research projects targeting a variety of Asian sub-groups. These projects were the direct outcome of extensive cancer awareness activities in the community, the publicity associated with receiving peer-reviewed pilot project funding, and the collaborations established with multiple community based organizations. Cancer 2005. © 2005 American Cancer Society.