United States, Africa, Caribbean Collaboration: Strengths and Opportunities for Global Cancer Research
Oliver, JoAnn S.
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Session presented on Friday, July 22, 2016 and Thursday, July 21, 2016: World-wide there is a disproportionate burden of cancer among populations of African ancestry. Cancer in the United States continues to be a major public health issue. President Obama has declared cancer to be a major priority. While cancer is a major health issue in the U.S. there is evidence of significant disparities among African Americans. Additionally, developing nations in Africa and the Caribbean continue to face this public health challenge despite current efforts and advances in health policy, research and advocacy. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that by 2030 the incidence of cancer in Africa and the Caribbean will increase by 87% and 66% respectively, in contrast to increases by 55% and 26% in the US and Europe. The African-Caribbean Cancer Consortium (AC3) is a designated National Cancer Institute, Epidemiology and Genomics Research (EGRP) Consortium and was conceived to address the growing burden of cancer risk in populations of African ancestry. Our initiatives have established an integrative framework designed to investigate lifestyle, genetic and environmental factors related to cancer incidence and mortality. This framework consists of three intricate networks of cancer investigators from the US, Caribbean and Africa. The AC3 membership represents 17 institutions in 12 states in the US, 13 countries in the Caribbean and 3 Countries in Africa. Since our launch in 2007, the trans-disciplinary collaborative initiatives have amassed 9 conferences and symposia, 14 presentations and 54 peer reviewed publications. Despite challenges of limited resources the AC3 member networks has established sustained and trusting relationships and regular communications that have demonstrated feasibility and promoted successful partnerships. Our priorities are to 1) continue to build knowledge, capacity and infrastructure, through training, mentorship and community engagement and 2) advance the science of cancer prevention and control in populations of African ancestry through sustained partnerships and translational research. We anticipate that these trans-disciplinary initiatives will reduce the disparate and appreciable cancer burden in populations of African ancestry.