CCARE Research

The Center of Community Alliance for Research is developing its role as City of Hope's leading resource on cultural and socioecological contexts and the inclusion of linguistic and ethnic minority groups. CCARE has participated in several successfully funded projects with other departments and divisions including Clinical Cancer Genetics, Developmental Therapeutics and Cancer Biology.
Dr. Ashing is recognized as a stellar and exemplary investigator with seminal research in the area of psychooncology, particularly in the area of ethnic, cultural, linguistic and health disparities. She is a psychooncology champion whose work has documented the cancer experience of diverse survivors. Moreover, she is a community health advocate working to build infrastructure and capacity within community-based, grass-roots cancer-related organizations. Dr. Ashing is the notable leader in examining health disparities in order to improve quality of life and quality of care for ethnic and linguistic minority and underserved persons and communities.  Her work in this area is significant and innovative, and is shaping future research efforts in health psychology, oncology and quality of life research.  This originality is best illustrated through her scientific productivity and ensuing publication record.
Current Studies
  • Learn about CCARE's role in ACS' new Cancer Prevention Study, and how to join! Dr. Ashing, along with Dr. Jeffrey Weitzel, chief of the Division of Clinical Cancer Genetics, received a grant from the ACS to support their work on CPS-3 in Los Angeles County. Dr. Ashing focuses on addressing the disparities in treatment and outcomes between patients with different access and cultural approaches to medicine. Together, Drs. Ashing and Weitzel are working not only to increase understanding of the causes of cancer, but how best to educate the diverse, multi-ethnic public about how they can prevent cancer. To learn more about City of Hope's role in this study, click here.
  • Dr. Ashing along with seven other community partners recently received funding from the California Breast Cancer Research Program to train African American breast cancer survivors as peer navigators to guide African American breast cancer patients through survivorship with an emphasis improving access to surveillance and follow-up care.
  • Thanks to Susan G. Komen LA County, CCARE has newly launched a similar study focusing on the Latina breast cancer survivors of Antelope Valley. Instead of peer navigators, however, this study involves board-certified nurses.
  • CCARE is also working on a similar project that reaches both African American and Latina breast cancer survivors, targets low-income women in SPA 4, which covers Metro LA. Professional health educators serve as the navigators for this study.
  • Additionally, an Excellence award from City of Hope allows us to reach out to young African American breast cancer survivors. A licensed Marriage and Family Therapist provides the navigation.
  • Since 2010, City of Hope has received funding via the National Cancer Institute's Community Outreach Capacity Through Community Health Educators (CHE) of the National Outreach Network administrative supplement. CHE is housed within CCARE to integrate the CHE program within the community and develop a long-term education and outreach plan in Los Angeles County. This project provides, among other things, community assessment of cancer control needs and resources, community cancer education, diagnostic and therapeutic care presentations, and screening and early detection services. It also expands the access to and enrollment of underrepresented populations in biospecimen bankings as well as clinical research.
Previous Studies
  • In response to the mandated Survivorship Care Plan (SCP) going into effect in 2015, Dr. Ashing and CCARE investigated the cultural competence of the SCP for minority communities.
  • Using a community-based participatory research (CBPR) framework, they involved members of the community in every aspect of the research process (J Cancer Surviv 2013).
  • To read the full article, click here. (To read more about the Survivorship Care Plan and the official program standards, click here.)
  • Dr. Ashing and CCARE implemented evidenced-based interventions investigating the benefit of a clinically responsive psycho-educational telephonic versus materials only intervention with African-American and Latina-American breast cancer survivors (BCS). 
  • These findings suggested that long-term and late effects persist among BCS, but symptoms are responsive to intervention.  The results are encouraging and provide evidence that culturally and clinically responsive psycho-educational interventions are effective for improving quality of life outcomes and reducing life burden among low-income and minority populations.
  • On the other hand, survivors receiving the materials only demonstrated either little change or declines in domains of health related quality of life issues over time. The current findings are informing community translational interventions (J Cancer Surviv 2008).
  • To read the full article, click here.