Charles Drew (267829)

Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science (CDU) has entered into a groundbreaking collaboration with Stand Up to Cancer (SU2C), a national organization that enables scientific breakthroughs by funding collaborative, multidisciplinary, multi-institutional scientific research teams and investigators, to explore ways to increase awareness about and participation in clinical trials among cancer patients in medically underserved communities in Los Angeles.

Announced at a press event at Los Angeles City Hall with L.A. Councilman Paul Koretz, along with two of SU2C co-founders, Rusty Robertson and Sue Schwartz, SU2C celebrity ambassador Jimmy Smits, and CDU President/CEO Dr. David M. Carlisle, the partnership is designed to address one of the biggest health equity challenges in medical science today. The partnership hopes to widen the pool of participants in research and clinical trials, particularly among communities of color, who are often disproportionately affected by certain cancers, and yet are not proportionately included in cancer research and clinical trials.

African Americans have the highest mortality rate for all cancers combined; and Latinos are more likely to be diagnosed with advanced stages of cancer, and when it is detected in later stages, treatment and recovery are much more difficult, and survival rates are reduced. Neither African Americans nor Latinos, however, are represented sufficiently in cancer research or clinical trials.

By pooling resources, SU2C and the University may assist the CDU Cancer Research Center in increasing its outreach and patient navigation efforts to recruit patients from under-resourced communities who can participate in and benefit from clinical trials.

“For more than half a century, [Charles R. Drew University] has been training healthcare professionals who are dedicated to health equity for underserved populations,” Smits said. “This esteemed institution is an absolutely stellar collaborator with ‘Stand Up To Cancer.’”

“This relationship is very much in line with what we do at CDU, and also who we are as a center of higher education and a research institution. For more than five decades, CDU has been dedicated to eliminating health disparities not only by training physician residents and graduating students who provide care in underserved areas, but also by conducting research on illnesses that disproportionately affect communities of color, including cancer,” Carlisle said. “We are very excited to be working with ‘Stand Up To Cancer’ on this much-needed recruitment work.”

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