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NYGC Launches Collaborative Cancer Genomics Research Projects Focused on Underserved Populations


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Leading cancer scientists working with the New York Genome Center (NYGC) announced that grants are being awarded to fund six projects that address the role of ethnicity in several major cancer types, taking advantage of the diversity of patients being treated at health-care institutions throughout the New York City area. The awards are being made under the auspices of a NYGC research initiative, Polyethnic-1000 (P-1000), which was launched in 2018 to help address cancer-care inequities in underserved populations.

Participants in the P-1000 initiative include cancer clinicians and investigators representing all of the NYGC’s member institutions, including six of New York City’s National Cancer Institute–designated cancer centers. The initiative is overseen by the Genome Center Cancer Group, led by nationally recognized cancer experts Nobel Laureate ­Harold Varmus, MD, Senior Associate Core Member, NYGC, and Lewis Thomas University Professor of Medicine, Weill Cornell Medicine, and Charles Sawyers, MD, Chair, Human Oncology and Pathogenesis Program, Marie-Josée and Henry R. Kravis Chair, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

Harold Varmus, MD

Harold Varmus, MD

Charles Sawyers, MD

Charles Sawyers, MD

The six new research projects follow the first phase of P-1000, in which a multi-institutional network of collaborators was developed throughout New York City. The award-winning cancer research projects for this next phase of P-1000 include:

“Immunogenomic Determinants of Ethnic Disparities in Clinical Outcomes for Urothelial Cancer Patients,” a Weill Cornell Medicine study to determine how ethnic diversity affects the clinical outcomes of bladder cancer

“Molecular Determinants of Increased Vulnerability to Pancreatic Cancer Among African Americans,” a multi-institutional study to understand why this patient population has higher incidences and lower survival rates after diagnosis of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma in comparison to other populations

“Ethnic-Based Differences Between East Asian and Caucasian Patients in Genomic, Transcriptomic, and Immune Profiles of Preinvasive and Invasive Adenocarcinoma of the Lung,” a study that aims to identify the somatic alterations in nonsolid lung nodules in East Asian and Caucasian patients that explain the significant demographic, clinical, and biologic differences between these two groups

“Molecular Links Between Ancestry and Outcome Disparity in Breast and Prostate Cancer Patients Across the African Diaspora in New York City,” a study to identify molecular links between African ancestry and aggressive forms of breast and prostate cancers and investigate them as a source of racial disparities in cancer outcomes

“Uncovering the Mechanisms of Colorectal Cancer Disparities in African Americans,” a study by researchers at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory and the State University of New York Downstate Health Sciences University. The project aims to employ a multipronged approach to interrogate the genetic and nongenetic factors that can improve understanding of colorectal cancer in African American patient populations

“Mechanisms of Endometrial Cancer Disparities in African Americans,” a collaborative study by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, Weill Cornell Medicine, NewYork-Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital, and Northwell Health. The aim is to establish an annotated biobank and create the necessary clinical and experimental frameworks to gain new insights about the endometrial cancer disparities in African Americans.

 


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