COE Research

Breast Cancer and the Environment Research Study
This research study addresses the priority areas of common cancers, aging and environment to examine breast cancer risk and chemical exposure. The study uses a team science approach by collaborating with Cancer Biology, Population Sciences, and COE. In order to achieve study aims, COE created a Community Leadership Committee (CLC) that represents the demographics of the Catchment area to aid in dissemination of research findings from the study.  COE co-leads CLC meetings and provides capacity building for CLC members.
Eat, Move, Live!
This type of study shifts the paradigm of bench to bedside to community to community to bench by taking an effective community program developed in 2008 and developing it into a research study looking to reduce insulin resistance in breast cancer survivors who live in Frontier and Remote (FAR) zip codes and food deserts.

We know that disparities in access to healthy food may promote pre-diabetes and 1) cause chromatin damage and 2) increase breast cancer risk. In our clinics at City of Hope, Dr. Bernstein and Dr. Mortimer found that the majority of women who were treated with chemotherapy for early-stage breast cancer became insulin-resistant (HgbA1c average 5.4 pre-treatment – 5.9 post-treatment).

The aims of the study are:

  1. To test the ability of a remote e-intervention to promote exercise and improve insulin sensitivity in breast cancer survivors living in the Antelope Valley.
  2. To test if insulin-resistance promotes epigenetic damage and increases TNBC-risk in breast cancer survivors living in Frontier and Remote (FAR) zip codes.
  • Reducing insulin resistance in BC survivors living in FAR zip codes/food deserts
  • PI utilized COE infrastructure and programs to develop research study addressing community need
  • Team science collaboration with Population Science, COE, Molecular and Cellular Biology of Cancer, Antelope Valley community practice site
  • COE provided pilot data, program infrastructure, community partners
  • COE leading recruitment efforts and AV staff training

Community Research Navigators
The community research navigator (CRN) program trains community health leaders or promotoras to become research navigators. As CRNs, promotoras disseminate information and educate the community about biospecimen donation, clinical trials and research participation projects, which aids in the promotion of ethnic minority participation in research.
CRNs are trained in:

  • Research Process — purpose and process of clinical trials, biospecimen donation and population studies;
  • Community Engagement — improve low participation rates of African- and Latino-Americans in research and the potential impact health outcomes
  • Advocacy — promotion of “research advocacy” and the idea that biospecimen donation, clinical trials and research participation are critical components of achieving health equity for most.

The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) funds patient-centered comparative clinical effectiveness research to assist patients, clinicians, purchasers, policymakers, and the broader healthcare community in making informed health decisions. City of Hope’s Partnered for Action in Research (PAIR)program promoted PCORI’s efforts among medically vulnerable regions where cancer and other chronic illnesses are prevalent, and a large underrepresentation in research exists. COH fostered dialogue and bidirectional relationships among scientists, clinicians, advocates, and community members to bridge the gaps in research and develop studies and patient navigation that will improve community health outcomes and reduce the burden of cancer. In addition, a deeper understanding of the communities we serve informed COH’s research priorities and agenda, resulting in more effective research and better translation of findings.
Repurposing Leflunomide to Delay Progression of High-risk Smoldering Multiple Myeloma in African Americans
Drs. Rosen, Pichiorri, Rosenzweig and Ashing were awarded a 5-yr NCI Provocative Questions grant to determine the anti-myeloma activity of leflunomide in a precursor condition to multiple myeloma. African Americans experience significantly greater incidence and mortality rates from multiple myeloma. Pharmacogenomic and immunological analyses will provide insight into possible racial differences in molecular pathways involved in progression to multiple myeloma. COE facilitated Black/African-American recruitment and retention strategy, engagement of community partners and addressing quality of life.