Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center and Fox Chase Cancer Center Collaborate with Pfizer’s Institute of Translational Equitable Medicine to Identify Novel Genetic Drivers of Cancer Disparities in African Ancestry Populations

Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center and Fox Chase Cancer Center Collaborate with Pfizer’s Equitable Translational Medicine Institute to Identify Novel Genetic Drivers of Cancer Disparities in African Descent Populations – Florida Hospital News and Healthcare Report

  • The collaboration builds on the African Caribbean Cancer Consortium, a multi-institutional, transcontinental network of scientists, oncologists and healthcare professionals focused on understanding cancer risk and outcomes in people of African descent. .
  • The primary objective of the study is to create an ethnically diverse patient cancer genome registry designed to expand existing resources and advance health equity through genomics, molecular epidemiology and determinants. social health research in oncology patients of African descent.

MIAMI and PHILDEPHIA, November 10, 2022—The Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center and Fox Chase Cancer Center today announced a collaboration with Pfizer’s Institute for Equitable Translational Medicine (ITEM) to initiate a cancer genomics study to to characterize new genetic, molecular and social determinants of cancer among populations of African descent.

“People of African descent disproportionately develop aggressive, high-grade cancers, particularly in breast and prostate tissue, and the underlying determinants are not well understood,” said Sophia HL George, PhD, Associate Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at Sylvester. Comprehensive Cancer Center, part of the University of Miami Health System, and co-lead of the African Caribbean Cancer Consortium (AC3) Women’s Cancer Task Force. Despite high unmet need, there are a limited number of statistically-based research studies to investigate cancer risk and outcomes in people of African descent.

In order to fill these knowledge gaps, this collaboration will create a clinical genomic registry of biological samples accompanied by epidemiological, behavioral and clinical data from patients of African descent diagnosed with breast and prostate cancer. Leveraging the global reach of the AC3 network, the team will recruit patients from ethnically, geographically, and socioeconomically diverse subpopulations across the African diaspora: US-born black patients and US-resident immigrants, patients from moderate and low income countries in the Caribbean islands, and patients from western, eastern and southern countries of the African subcontinent.

The scientific objectives of this study include 1) identification of somatic and rare pathogenic germline genetic factors of cancer using matched tumour-normal whole exome sequencing, 2) determination of hereditary cancer risk at using gene panel testing in known cancer factors, 3) characterization of hormone receptor status using immunohistochemistry, and 4) indicating major socioeconomic and lifestyle factors influencing cancer outcomes in patients of African descent.

“We created the Institute of Translational Equitable Medicine to achieve health equity by preventing, treating, and identifying drivers of disease that disproportionately affect underserved and minority populations nationally and globally. Our goal is to use data to help better understand the drivers of health inequalities,” said Aida Habtezion, MD, MSc, FRCPC, AGAF, Chief Medical Officer and Head of Worldwide Medical & Safety at Pfizer. “We are excited to collaborate with Fox Chase Cancer Center, Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center and the African Caribbean Cancer Consortium to begin to fill the gaps in applying scientific knowledge to disparities in cancer incidence, prevalence and outcomes. diseases for cancer patients of African descent.

“This registry will allow us to conduct studies that will add to the limited data available for Blacks, including genetics, genomics, and gene-environment interaction studies that will help fill specific knowledge gaps in the literature. addressing aggressive diseases in cancer patients of African descent,” said Camille Ragin, PhD, MPH, Associate Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at Fox Chase and Co-Lead and Founder of AC3.

The study will include cancer patients from Fox Chase Cancer Center, Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of Alabama, University of Augusta in conjunction with Morgan State University, as well as nine international AC3 research sites in the Bahamas, Barbados, Benin, Burkina Faso, Haiti, Jamaica, Kenya, Namibia and Trinidad and Tobago.

“This is a very big effort and is only possible because of our longstanding working relationships with AC3 site maintainers like Valerie Odero-Marah, PhD, of the historically black Morgan State University, who is co- leader of the AC3 working group on prostate cancer, and Ann Korir of the Kenya Institute of Medical Research, co-lead of the AC3 working group on women’s cancer. ‘Coordinated effort is everyone in the AC3 network playing and leading their part,’ Ragin said.

“We want to enable African and Caribbean researchers to ask questions collaboratively across the United States, Africa, and the Caribbean so that we can conduct projects that affect our populations,” George said, “It’s exciting because the way the collaboration was designed, there is equity in who participates, who leads and who is at the center of the project.

About Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center

The Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, part of UHealth – University of Miami Health System and University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, is the only cancer center in South Florida designated by the National Cancer Institute. The NCI designation recognizes that Sylvester has met the highest standards in cancer research, beginning in our labs, extending to patient care, and meeting the specific needs of our community. Sylvester is known as South Florida’s leader in patient-centered cancer research and care, offering the only Phase 1 clinical trial program – the first step in evaluating how patients respond to the latest experimental treatments. The NCI designation further expands Sylvester’s ability to provide access to new therapies through more clinical trials and collaboration with other designated centers. Equipped with a highly skilled team of more than 2,400 cancer-focused physicians, researchers and support staff working together, Sylvester discovers, develops and delivers more precise cancer care. To serve current and future patients, Sylvester has a network of outpatient treatment facilities conveniently located throughout South Florida.

About Fox Chase Cancer Center

Fox Chase Cancer Center (Fox Chase), which includes the Institute for Cancer Research and American Oncologic Hospital and is part of Temple Health, is one of the leading comprehensive cancer centers in the United States. Founded in 1904 in Philadelphia as one of the nation’s first cancer hospitals, Fox Chase was also among the first facilities to be designated a National Cancer Institute Comprehensive Cancer Center in 1974. Fox Chase is also one of 10 members of the Alliance of Dedicated Cancer Centers. Fox Chase researchers have won the highest honors in their fields, including two Nobel Prizes. Fox Chase physicians are also consistently recognized in national rankings, and the Center’s nursing program has received Magnet recognition for excellence five times in a row. Today, Fox Chase conducts a wide range of nationally competitive basic, translational, and clinical research, with special programs in cancer prevention, detection, survivorship, and community outreach. It is the policy of Fox Chase Cancer Center that there will be no exclusion or participation in the provision of quality medical care on the basis of race, ethnicity, religion, orientation sexuality, sex, and that no one will be denied the benefits. gender identity/expression, disability, age, ancestry, color, national origin, physical ability, level of education, or source of payment.

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