AACR Launches Initiative to Address Cancer Health Disparities in African Americans


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THE AMERICAN ASSOCIATION for Cancer Research (AACR) announced the launch of a collaborative initiative known as “2020 by 2020.” The initiative will perform genomic sequencing of both malignant and benign tumor tissues from 2,020 consented African American cancer patients in addition to aggregating it with clinical data to improve the understanding of cancer outcomes in this medically underrepresented population. 

To conduct 2020 by 2020, the AACR is partnering with Pelotonia through The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute, M2Ge, and the Oncology Research Information Exchange Network (ORIEN). 

Initiative Goals 

TO REACH the goal, the 2020 by 2020 partners will facilitate the development of an infrastructure for consenting African American patients to the ORIEN Total Cancer Care Protocol at Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta. The Morehouse School of Medicine is already a member of ORIEN, and the injection of support through the 2020 by 2020 initiative is projected to substantially increase the number of patients the center can accrue and will allow for the continued collection of material from patients with cancer well beyond the year 2020. The data will also be added to the AACR Project GENIE registry, which has already made public 39,600 de-identified genomic records. 

AACR Project GENIE and ORIEN will subsequently provide the genomic data generated through the 2020 by 2020 initiative to publicly accessible cancer genome registries for the benefit of academic and industry researchers interested in studying cancer and cancer outcomes in African American populations. Such research has the potential to deepen the understanding of causes of cancer health disparities in this population and expedite the development of strategies to address this daunting public health challenge. ■


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