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Grant Details

Grant Number: 5R03CA139947-02 Interpret this number
Primary Investigator: Walker, Charles
Organization: Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center
Project Title: Arts, Research, T-Cells & Socio-Demographics (ARTS) in the Niagara Region
Fiscal Year: 2009


DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): The disproportionately lower number of minority and low income individuals participating in clinical and prevention research has a significant impact on the representativeness of scientific outcomes and result in social and clinical injustices. Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI) and Niagara Falls community members are creating power-neutral collaborations to meet the needs of vulnerable communities in order to reduce cancer disparities and improve cancer research. The proposed ?ARTS? (Arts, Research, T-cells & Sociodemographics) study creates a collaborative opportunity linking a diverse, relatively low income population with an NCI Comprehensive Cancer Center to test the feasibility of studying the relationship among various contributing factors (e.g., socio-demographics, including poverty and race/ethnicity) to health disparities (e.g., immune function, risks for cancer). The goal of this study is to investigate strategies to engage residents in the Niagara Falls region with scientists at RPCI to increase mutual understanding of each other and participation in cancer prevention research, and to obtain pilot data on variations in Treg cell levels. The following Specific Aims are proposed to achieve this goal: Aim 1. Investigate the feasibility of educating and recruiting Niagara Falls residents to cancer prevention studies through creative community-based methods and interventions within the Niagara Arts & Cultural Center (NACC) as measured through attendance, surveys and study participation. Aim 2. Investigate the technical feasibility of epidemiological survey collection, biological specimen collection, and performing regulatory T Cell assays through community-based interventional methods. Aim 3. Develop a meaningful and appropriate framework and best methods for sharing findings from social and biological data among all academic and community partners and participants. Through educational recruitment programs based at the NACC, demographics, affective measures (e.g., the feeling people associate with the idea of research), and intent to participate, will be collected using a community-friendly audience response system (ARS). Individuals may choose to participate at various levels, and those selecting to donate blood will allow us to obtain pilot data about how certain lifestyle (e.g., smoking, exercise, diet) and demographic factors (e.g., income, neighborhood, race/ethnicity) are related to important aspects of the immune system in healthy residents as measured by Treg cells (cells that can prevent the immune system from protecting the body). It is expected that process and outcome results from this feasibility study will provide pilot data for research questions related to: 1) the role of affectively-based decision making factors on research participation; 2) heterogeneity of immunological indicators in relationship to socio-demographic, environmental, and behavioral variables; 3) the effectiveness of linking medical research education and recruitment with a community group focused on the arts; and 4) the technical accommodations necessary for a research institution and community partners to recruit, accrue, and analyze measures related to cancer research.



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