A Healthier Wisconsin

Development of a Surgical Oncology Disparities Research Program

Building a better understanding of cancer disparities in order to address inequities in cancer outcomes in Wisconsin

Full Project Name:Development of a Surgical Oncology Disparities Research ProgramPrincipal Investigator:Callisia Clarke, MD, SurgeryCo-Investigator:Ugwuji Maduekwe, MD, Surgery; Anai Kothari, MD, SurgeryAward Amount:$1,091,200
Award Date
Project Duration:48 months

Project Description Narrative:

Cancer disparities are a complex and persistent problem in Wisconsin and the United States. 2015-2019 data from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results Program of the National Cancer Institute demonstrated that Black Wisconsin residents are diagnosed with cancer at a rate 22.2% higher than their White counterparts and die from these diagnoses 38.9% more frequently than White Wisconsin residents. American Indian/Alaskan Natives similarly have a 12% higher cancer incidence and 13% higher cancer mortality rates when compared to White Wisconsin residents.

This project will build the research expertise and data analytic infrastructure necessary to develop a research program that investigates the mechanisms underlying surgical oncology disparities at the population and epigenetic levels to inform effective interventions aimed at closing the gap. The results of this project will inform how to ameliorate inequities in cancer outcomes across Wisconsin.

Project Updates:

  • Worked with local freelance marketing firm to convert vision of the surgical oncology disparities research program into a defined program, including landing on the name Advancing Cancer Equity in Surgery (ACES), logo/brand development, and creating a program organizational structure
  • Outlined a plan to create a lecture series and open forums for other investigators to collaborate/exchange ideas
  • Acquired multiple data sets to support the research goals of the ACES program and completed projects focused on gastric cancer using the National Cancer Database which provided the analytic framework for using the dataset to understand the disease site of interest
  • Disseminated project efforts through abstracts and multiple presentations at regional and national meetings

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