CANCER RESEARCH: Minority Studies Receive $60M
The National Cancer Institute awarded research institutes with grants totalling $60 million Thursday to "help link them with community programs to better prevent, treat and study cancer among racial minorities." The 17 institutes, including University of California-Irvine and Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, will use the monies to boost cancer awareness among people of color and to expand their cancer research. The grants are "designed to encourage people from the community to work with scientists," Dr. Richard Klausner, director of the National Cancer Institute, said. Although cancer is the second leading cause of death in the United States, African Americans are disproportionately affected. This population has cancer death rate some 35% higher than Caucasians. Multiple factors may be attributed to this disparity, including poverty, lifestyle, access to health care and cultural differences. Further, recent studies suggest that health care providers "often offer different treatments, depending on race, and that whites fare better in this regard." Dr. Harold Freeman, chair of a presidential advisory panel on cancer, said, "The question we are dealing with is why cancer affects ... groups differently. The reasons for these disparities need to be investigated further" (Cimons, Los Angeles Times, 4/7).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.