Despite overall improvements, ethnic or racial disparities continue to increase, suggesting
deficiencies in research designs for understanding disparities. For example, compared to the
2017 US Census, most observational cancer studies were found to over represent Caucasians
and underrepresent African Americans and Asians. How to utilize these studies to detect and
understand racial disparities remains challenging.
This proposal is motivated by the Boston Lung Cancer Survival Cohort (BLCSC), one of the
largest lung cancer cohorts globally, which consists of lung cancer cases registered since 1992
at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (DFCI) and the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), and
has expanded to the MD Anderson Cancer Center (MDACC) and Mayo Clinic. This rich database
provides a unique opportunity for studying racial disparities in cancer outcomes as well as
presents a challenge with unbalanced covariates across racial groups. We also have access to
the International Lung and Cancer Consortium (ILCCO), an international cohort established in
2004 with a data structure similar to BLCSC.
Leveraging these cancer cohorts, we develop methods with a common goal of effectively
identifying racial disparities in cancer outcomes by integrating high dimensional observational
studies with multiple racial groups. Rich datasets like BLCSC and ILLCO are ideal for integrative,
unconfounded detection of racial disparities in cancer outcomes, and for generating statistical
findings generalizable to a realistic and inclusive larger population.
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- The DCCPS Team.