Cancer Control and Population Sciences Aims

Identify and modify risk factors for cancer, increase cancer screening and improve cancer communication.

Research in this aim focuses on understanding and reducing cancer risks in the catchment area as well as the development of pragmatic clinical trials to ascertain the best treatments for patients. Facilitated by the One Florida Data Trust, members work on understanding risks for cancers common in the catchment area including pancreatic, breast, prevention of hepatitis C associated malignancy, as well as nicotine addiction and smoking which is higher in our catchment area than the rest of the state and the US. The group studies patient perceptions regarding screening and develops interventions centered on improving communication and patient decision-making in contexts such as HPV vaccine uptake, tobacco reduction and optimizing clinical communication using patient portals. These interventions were developed utilizing principles of community engagement to improve the health literacy and cultural appropriateness and effectiveness of reaching the rural population in our catchment area.tubes

Relieve the burden of cancer by ameliorating cancer treatment toxicities, improving cancer symptom management, palliative care and survivorship.

This aim focuses on elucidating the mechanisms of cancer cachexia and radiation toxicity. Other studies focus on better understanding of pain and other symptoms, implementing behavioral interventions that integrate with the electronic health record, and improving treatment decision-making and psychosocial adjustment, palliative care and survivorship. These studies include the use of advanced study design and analysis of quantitative data using novel data linkage strategies, tools and methods. This research is conducted in all population groups, including women and children, and emphasizes understanding and reducing cancer health disparities faced by rural, minority, low-income, older adults in our catchment area.

To achieve these aims,  The impact is achieved via cross-cutting: 1) use of innovative technology, strategic message design, and large data science; and 2) enhancement of cultural sensitivity to reduce cancer health disparities. Through the conduct of clinical trials and comparative effectiveness research in real–world settings, CCPS members develop, test and assess interventions to reduce treatments toxicities, and improve symptom management, palliative care, and quality of life. CCPS members also are developing and testing strategies to link tumor registry, EHR, genomic, vital statistics, census and environmental data to identify factors contributing to disparities in cancer prevention, screening and treatment and to develop interventions to address those factors.