The California State University Fullerton and the University of California Irvine Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center Partnership for Cancer Health Disparities Research was formed in 2012 to help reduce cancer health disparities in Orange County.
The collaboration, the first of its kind between the two institutions, is led by Allan Hubbell, MD, professor emeritus of medicine, public health and nursing science at UC Irvine, and Sora Park Tanjasiri, DrPH, professor of health science and director of the Health Promotion Research Institute at Cal State Fullerton. View our administrative team ›
The partnership is being funded by a four-year grant, totaling more than $1.3 million, from the National Cancer Institute (NCI), which is part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The NIH has defined healthcare disparities as the differences in the incidence, prevalence, mortality and burden of diseases and other adverse health conditions that exist among specific U.S. population groups.
Improving cancer health disparities
“The overall goal is to establish a collaborative partnership that will increase cancer health disparities research at both institutions,” Hubbell said. “By doing so, the partnership will contribute to reducing—and eventually eliminating—disparities in Orange County, leading to cancer health equity.”
Cancer is the second leading cause of death among all major ethnic groups, Tanjasiri said, “however, the risk of developing cancer varies considerably by ethnicity.”
Hispanics, for example, have higher rates of cervical cancer, stomach cancer and liver cancer than non-Hispanic whites. Non-Hispanic black males have the highest overall cancer incidence and mortality rate of any ethnic group.
Research and mentoring
The partnership has two objectives.
One is to conduct pilot cancer health disparities research projects involving at least one investigator at each institution that will lead to submission of research proposals to NCI and other funding agencies. These projects will advance knowledge regarding cancer health disparities and, long term, will contribute to reducing and eventually eliminating those disparities. We invite interested participants to propose pilot projects that meet our partnership goals.
Projects underway include:
About the partners
The Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center at UC Irvine Medical Center provides fully integrated research, prevention, diagnostics, treatment and rehabilitation programs for patients and families coping with cancer. The cancer center, ranked among the nation’s best hospitals for oncology treatment by U.S. News & World Report, is Orange County’s only comprehensive cancer center—the highest designation given by the National Cancer Institute.
Cal State Fullerton’s Health Promotion Research Institute (HPRI) serves as a catalyst and focal point for research, training, and community interchange to develop and disseminate evidence-based information and health promotion programs. The institute has more than 50 faculty members from 18 departments. It consists of five affiliated centers, including the Center for Cancer Disparities Research that was established to address the increasing burden of cancer-related health disparities.