Newswise — The University of Chicago Medicine’s Center for Asian Health Equity (CAHE) is joining the National Cancer Institute’s Beau Biden Cancer MoonshotSM Initiative to accelerate the pace of progress in the fight against cancer.

The National Cancer Institute (NCI) has established multiple mechanisms to fund Cancer Moonshot-related research. One of them is Accelerating Colorectal Cancer Screening and Follow-up through Implementation Science (ACCSIS). The ACCSIS Program will provide an evidence base for multilevel interventions that increase rates of colorectal cancer (CRC) screening, follow-up and referral-to-care. It will also establish best practices for how scale up interventions to reduce CRC.

As one of three grantees nationwide for colorectal cancer prevention, ACCSIS-Chicago—led by University of Chicago cancer specialists Karen Kim, MD, MS, and Blase Polite, MD, MPP—has been awarded nearly $6 million over five years to test novel ways to improve CRC screening and follow-up among groups that have not been screened.

CRC screening detects disease early. It can also prevent many cancers by finding and removing precancerous polyps. 

The State of Illinois ranks in the lowest 25 percent for CRC screening in the United States and consequently has a high CRC incidence. Cook County, the most populous and diverse county in Illinois, has one of the highest CRC mortality rates in the state. It has significantly more African Americans, Hispanics and Asian Americans than any other county, and more people living close to of the poverty level.

In response, CAHE, under the guidance of director Kim, and Polite, an affiliated researcher at UChicago Medicine, will target underrepresented populations.

“We are thrilled to have this opportunity to study the implementation of evidence-based interventions to increase colorectal cancer screening among vulnerable populations,” Kim said. “ACCSIS-Chicago has the potential to transform our understanding of the health system and community factors that enhance or impede colorectal screening and follow up.”

CAHE will partner with four federally qualified health centers serving diverse and low-income populations. ACCSIS Chicago has a unique opportunity to have a significant and sustainable impact on reducing disparities in CRC. It provides a mechanism for establishing the research infrastructure necessary to find the best ways to test and implement scientific approaches to cancer control.


About the University of Chicago Medicine & Biological Sciences

The University of Chicago Medicine, with a history dating back to 1927, is one of the nation’s leading academic medical institutions. It unites the missions of the University of Chicago Medical Center, Pritzker School of Medicine and the Biological Sciences Division. Twelve Nobel Prize winners in physiology or medicine have been affiliated with the University of Chicago Medicine. Its main Hyde Park campus is home to the Center for Care and Discovery, Bernard Mitchell Hospital, Comer Children’s Hospital and the Duchossois Center for Advanced Medicine. It also has ambulatory facilities in Orland Park and the South Loop as well as affiliations and partnerships that create a regional network of care. UChicago Medicine offers a full range of specialty-care services for adults and children through more than 40 institutes and centers including an NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center. Together with Harvey-based Ingalls Memorial, UChicago Medicine has 1,286 licensed beds, nearly 1,300 attending physicians, about 3,200 nurses and over 1,100 residents and fellows.


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About the University of Chicago Medicine & Biological Sciences

Established in 2015, the Center for Asian Health Equity is a multidisciplinary partnership between the University of Chicago Medicine and Asian Health Coalition. It investigates health disparities that disproportionately affect Asian and other immigrant populations through a comprehensive program for research, health education, community engagement, and information dissemination.


Grant No Link: 1UG3CA233229-01