Principal Investigator: Vanessa Sheppard, Ph.D.
Funding Source: American Cancer Society 133800-RSG-19-182-01-CPPB
Black breast cancer (BC) survivors experience the worst mortality outcomes. Most are recommended effective systemic therapies (chemotherapy or adjuvant hormonal therapy), but adherence is often suboptimal. Patient centered communication (PCC) is central to high-quality care and to treatment adherence. Unfortunately, Black patients experience lower PCC with providers. Improving communication in black survivors around systemic treatment adherence may reduce disparities. Our preliminary data found that black breast cancer survivors wanted: more involvement in their cancer care, communication support, peer-based strategies, streamlined treatment information, and culturally relevant materials.
This study is responsive to research priorities and national recommendations to empower cancer patients in their medical encounters. Guided by an integrative theoretical framework and our promising preliminary data we will employ a two-arm RCT to test whether SIS (N=230) vs. enhanced usual care (EUC N=230) improves communication with providers and systemic therapy adherence in newly diagnosed black BC patients. The EUC arm consists of a low-literacy treatment recommendation summary form. To our knowledge this will be the first study to rigorously test a multifaceted intervention to address communication disparities and cancer treatment adherence. If successful, with the help of key stakeholders (e.g. community partners, clinicians), we will disseminate and implement our intervention and materials in various settings including NIH's Research Tested Intervention Programs (RTIPs) and oncology clinics.
Principal Investigator: Vanessa Sheppard, Ph.D.
Funding Source: National Cancer Institute Grant No. 1UG1CA189869-01
Massey Cancer Center (MCC) will serve as the primary component site for an NCORP Minority/Underserved Community Site award in partnership with nine collaborating community component sites. The overall objectives of this partnership are to extend novel, innovative, and effective minority recruitment approaches to an expanded base of community component sites, increase opportunities for minority and medically underserved individuals to participate in Cancer Clinical Trial Research (CCTR), and to integrate Cancer Care Delivery Research (CCDR) into the overall MB-NCORP. Accordingly, the specific aims of this proposal are to (1) establish a research infrastructure that will further enable community component sites to conduct CCTR with an emphasis on trials relevant to minority and medically underserved populations, (2) conduct NCI-approved CCTR at the MCC primary component site and throughout the community component sites, and (3) integrate Cancer Care Delivery Research (CCDR) into the overall MB-NCORP.
The research design of the MB-NCORP offers a full menu of cancer studies including those in cancer prevention and control, screening, treatment, imaging, and CCDR. The proposed research is relevant to the mission of the NCI as MCC and the community component sites will bring cancer clinical trials and research to low-income, minority, and medically underserved individuals who otherwise would not have access to such studies. These studies will address many diverse factors from patient, provider, organizational, and policy perspectives that contribute to known disparities in cancer detection, treatment, and outcomes. Targeting the minority/underserved populations in their communities is a critical step toward alleviating the cancer care disparities prevalent in these populations.
Principal Investigator: Vanessa L. Sheppard, Ph.D.
Funding Source: NCI
Grant No.: 2T32CA093423-11
This application seeks continued support for the Training Program in Behavioral and Health Services Cancer Control Research (application # R25 CA093423-06A1) from the National Cancer Institute T32 mechanism. This Training Program is located within the Massey Cancer Center (MCC) of Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) and provides transdisciplinary training for predoctoral and postdoctoral candidates in cancer prevention and control research. The overall goal of this training program is to provide an environment that encourages the development of cancer prevention and control research at the highest levels. Training is targeted to individuals in the social sciences (psychology, sociology, economics, anthropology), public health, biostatistics, and those who have completed their clinical requirements for specialty training in medicine and nursing. To accomplish this goal, a training program has been structured to foster transdisciplinary research - a precondition to conducting research in this field. The predoctoral training component aims to recruit one potential future investigators to this research area at the earliest time in their careers. This is important if we are to speed up the development of focused cancer prevention and control research by creating a cadre of students who are focused on this research area at the outset of their research training. The flexible 2 year postdoctoral training component helps guide young investigators to this field of study and provides them with integrated but focused training to conduct fundamental and interventional studies in cancer prevention and control. This program will specifically and especially foster research that contributes to the understanding of the production of health disparities in cancer outcomes. VCU is uniquely positioned to provide this training because of its role as a safety net hospital, the population it serves, and its standing as an NCI- designated cancer center. The goal of this program is to train the next generation of cancer prevention and control researchers. To accomplish this goal we will do the following: 1) Offer a multidisciplinary integrated research training program with a broad range of research opportunities; 2) Meet the needs for training in emerging research areas in cancer prevention and control; 3) Provide training to researchers from diverse academic and ethnic backgrounds and intensive mentoring; 4) Provide a specialized curriculum that coalesces cancer control strengths at our institution.