The five-year grant, which was awarded by the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD), a component of the National Institutes of Health, supports cancer research infrastructure including technical research core laboratories and funding for the recruitment of researchers and for pilot studies.
“The Center for Cancer Research and Therapeutic Development is vitally important in establishing research collaborations with both academic and lay communities that are critical to the prevention, detection and treatment of prostate cancer and elimination of prostate cancer disparities,” said Dr. Shelia A. McClure, acting director, Office of Research Training and Capacity Building, Division of Scientific Programs, NIMHD, and a program official for the grant. “The center also serves as an important vehicle for training the next generation of investigators, particularly those from underrepresented groups.”
NIMHD supports research capacity-building in institutions that serve populations where the burden of disease is greatest.
The research and training efforts of CCRTD are focused on prostate cancer. Researchers are studying the biological, behavioral and social factors that contribute to the second most common cause of death from cancer among black, white, American Indian/Alaska Native, and Latino men. They are also studying the disproportionate impact of prostate cancer on black men, who have the highest risk of developing prostate cancer, the highest risk of developing aggressive prostate cancer, and also have the highest mortality rate. In concert with the research activities, CCRTD has a community-based educational program focusing on early detection and treatment.
This award also helps to facilitate partnerships between CCRTD and other research centers, such as the Integrative Cancer Research Center at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta and the Winship Cancer Institute at Emory University in Atlanta. These three centers partnered in forming the Collaborative Center for Cancer Genomics. Investigators from each of these centers perform DNA sequencing of individual tumors to identify novel genetic variations contributing to differences in prostate cancer susceptibility, progression and response to therapy in black men.
“This award will help to build the most comprehensive prostate cancer research and educational program in the country, and help to sustain vital partnerships required to address this disease and its disproportionate impact on [black] men,” said Dr. Shafiq A. Khan, principal investigator and director, CCRTD, and Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar.