Increasing access to clinical and educational studies



In 2001, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) provided funds to support the Increasing Access to Clinical and Educational Studies (ACES) Project of the Thomas Jefferson University, Kimmel Cancer Center in Philadelphia. The ACES Project enabled the Center to engage in the systematic development of approaches for reducing cancer health disparities among African Americans in Philadelphia. This project brought together community partners, clinical partners, cancer prevention and control experts, and staff from an NCI-designated cancer center to develop and implement a community-based outreach education program, a special populations investigator (SPI) training program, and SPI pilot studies in cancer screening and clinical trials participation. At the end of 5 years, the ACES Project had 1) organized a steering committee, expert panel, and a network of community collaborators and clinical partners; 2) implemented a clinical trials education program for community-based nurses, lay health advocates active in community organizations, and health ministries in community churches; 3) mentored 4 SPIs in cancer prevention and control research; 4) completed SPI pilot studies; and 5) leveraged these activities to gain support for cancer health disparities related research. The Project established a successful dialogue between an NCI-designated cancer center and the African American population related to cancer research, and enabled SPIs from the community to adapt evidence-informed interventions for application in cancer prevention and control research. Lessons learned from the Project can guide the implementation of such projects in the future. Cancer 2006. © 2006 American Cancer Society.