What is Redes en Accion?

Monday, October 15, 2012
By, Dr. Amelie G. Ramirez
A decade ago, we had an idea. Develop a national network—an online army of researchers and advocates—to fight Latino cancer on the fronts of research, training and education.

Today, 10 years and 1,800 members later, we’re winning the battle.

Redes En Acción: The National Latino Cancer Research Network has tested novel interventions to improve access to care and screening. We’ve trained the next generation of Latino cancer researchers. We’ve raised awareness of Latino cancer challenges and solutions.

Redes, formed by the National Cancer Institute in 2000, is based at the Institute for Health Promotion Research (IHPR) at the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, Texas, and has regional network centers in New York, Miami, San Francisco, San Diego and Houston.

Redes research focuses on policy and organizational change and innovative interventions to reduce disparities. Redes investigators do groundbreaking Latino cancer research in: genetics; network analysis; obesity; tobacco; cancer screening; cancer clinical trials; cancer survivorship; and patient navigation. In all, Redes researchers have more than $200 million in peer-reviewed Latino cancer and chronic disease research grants.

Redes training activities have instructed or mentored more than 200 emerging cancer researchers from undergrads to doctoral students to junior faculty, building a national pipeline of Latino researchers and physicians. Redes also launched the careers of 18 NCI pilot investigators who leveraged $900,000 in NCI cancer research funding into $100 million in cancer and chronic disease research.

Redes education seeks to improve access to cancer screening, treatment and beneficial cancer interventions. Redes has reached communities and researchers nationally through: more than 2,000 cancer education events; bilingual education materials, such as Buena Vida cancer health magazines and Nuestras Historias for Latina cancer survivors; Web sites and E-communications; a Latino Cancer Expert’s Directory; and public service announcements.

To see our accomplishments in action, watch our video on Redes’ impact over the years.

And recently, after a decade of success in reducing Latino cancer through research, training and education, Redes has received a new $5.6 million grant from the NCI’s Center to Reduce Cancer Health Disparities to bolster and expand its cancer-fighting efforts.

The new grant will bolster Redes’ efforts through 2015 and pave the way for two new studies: a large-scale study to test novel strategies in improving Latino cancer survivors’ quality of life and a pilot study of an Internet-based tobacco cessation service.

We’re extremely excited that the NCI continues to support Redes and acknowledges the tremendous strides we’ve made and are making to reduce the Latino cancer burden. We believe our efforts will continue to help Latinos, who suffer higher incidences of some cancers and lower survival rates for most cancers, which reflects less access to timely, quality health care.

The focal point of Redes’ new grant is the study on Latino cancer survivorship.

Given limited knowledge of how the cancer experience impacts Latino survivors, Redes researchers will test the effectiveness of using patient navigators in Texas’ Lower Rio Grande Valley and South Florida to identify survivors and link them to the Lance Armstrong Foundation’s LIVESTRONG SurvivorCare program, which offers free, bilingual support for any person affected by cancer to help with coping, finances, support and more.

The study hypothesizes that participants who experience this patient-navigation intervention, versus usual care, will show a significantly improved quality of life and greater compliance in following prescribed treatment.

We expect to vastly improve the availability of needed resources and thus the quality of life among breast, colorectal and prostate Latino cancer survivors.

Please join the fight against Latino cancer at www.redesenaccion.org.

 

 

By Dr. Amelie G. Ramirez

Director, Redes En Acción

Director, Institute for Health Promotion Research

The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio

  • Star

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