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Keywords:

  • community health networks;
  • cancer;
  • community participatory research;
  • Latinos;
  • cancer disparities;
  • primary care

Abstract

The Latin American Cancer Research Coalition (LACRC) was funded by NCI as a Special Populations Network to 1) provide training to clinic staff in cancer control and foster development of Latino faculty training, 2) conduct a needs assessment with the community clinics, 3) enhance the ability of the clinics to promote healthy lifestyles, 4) collaborate on research projects to improve use of early detection, and 5) explore partnerships to increase access to culturally competent cancer care. The LACRC developed a model for cancer control focused on community-based clinics as the focal point for in-reach and community outreach targeted to Latinos to reduce cancer disparities. This framework was designed to link the community to local hospitals and academic centers, build capacity, and promote diffusion of innovations directly into delivery systems. Eight research projects submitted by junior investigator/clinic teams have been funded by NCI. These research projects range from recruiting for clinical trials to prevention to survivorship. The LACRC has trained 6 cancer control coordinators from partner sites and educated 59 undergraduate minority student interns in aspects of cancer control research. Central to LACRC's success to date has been the creation and maintenance of an infrastructure of trusting relationships, especially those developed between clinician/investigators and individuals within the greater Latino community. Community clinics can be effective agents for cancer control among Latinos. Latinos are likely to participate in research conducted by culturally representative teams of researchers using culturally appropriate recruiting strategies. Cancer 2006. © 2006 American Cancer Society.