MSM Partners with AACR to Increase Awareness of Cancer Disparities and Clinical Trials Among Atlanta Community
More than 100 community members joined the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) on Saturday March 30 for “Progress and Promise Against Cancer,” a public education event held on the campus of Morehouse School of Medicine.
Valerie Montgomery Rice, MD, FACOG, President and Dean of MSM welcomed guest to the event while Elaine R. Mardis, President-elect of AACR served as the mistress of ceremonies to introduce patient advocates, physicians, and cancer experts throughout the program. Many of those experts included MSM cancer researchers who contributed to the audience’s awareness and understanding of cancer health disparities and the importance of diversifying participation in clinical trials across demographics such as race/ethnicity, age and gender.
- Brian Rivers, PhD, MPH, director of the Cancer Health Equity Institute at Morehouse School of Medicine and chair of the AACR’s Minorities in Cancer Research, provided an overview of cancer health disparities in Georgia and the nation.
- James Lillard, PhD, MBA, associate dean for research at Morehouse School of Medicine, discussed 2020 by 2020, an AACR collaborative initiative to address cancer health disparities by doing genomic testing on cancer and healthy tissue from 2,020 African-American cancer patients by the year 2020 to improve the understanding of cancer outcomes in this group.
- Roland Matthews, MD, FACOG, chair of obstetrics and gynecology at Morehouse School of Medicine, spoke with ovarian cancer survivor and advocate Kimberly Richardson as part of aphysician-patient role play highlighting cancer recurrence, and clinical trial risk and benefits.
Other speakers included MSM partner, breast cancer survivor and advocate Angie Patterson, vice president of the George Center for Oncology Research and Education and former NFL player Chris Draft, who shared his wife’s battle with lung cancer.