Minorities and the underserved are under-represented in cancer research. The Initiative will focus on lifestyle and behavioral changes in relation to cancer biology. One of our priority areas of research addresses energy balance which includes nutrition/diet, obesity, and physical activity components coupled with genetics and biology via intervention studies and clinical trials. In light of the high rates of obesity in the District and the link to several cancers including breast, prostate, and colon, clearly this is an area of enormous potential to impact cancer disparities. Through community-based participatory research, which enables the community to participate in all aspects of the research inclusive of conceptualization, design, and implementation, we are developing culturally appropriate interventions to reduce these cancer disparities.
The Initiative also serves as an umbrella for Health Disparities Research for Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center. Lombardi implements multiple research projects that focus on increasing scientists' knowledge of the causes of disparities, and/or increasing communities' access to cancer screening and services.