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HPDP Analysis Fellow Thompson receives $500,000 CDC grant to check ovarian most cancers prognosis – Middle for Well being Promotion and Illness Prevention – The College of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


A College of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC) analysis crew has acquired a two-year, $500,000 grant from the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention (CDC) to raised perceive healthcare-related components that predict earlier diagnoses of ovarian most cancers in North Carolinians, notably amongst girls of shade, decrease revenue, and rural populations. The examine would be the first within the U.S. to look at pathways and timeliness of ovarian most cancers prognosis.

Caroline Thompson Headshot
Caroline Thompson, PhD, MPH

“There isn’t a take a look at for ovarian most cancers in asymptomatic sufferers, and, regardless of essential advances in therapy, many ladies are identified at later phases when the most cancers has already unfold all through the physique. It’s essential to raised perceive the early warning indicators and components which will predispose girls to ovarian most cancers in order that suppliers can diagnose ovarian cancers earlier, when they’re extra amenable to therapy,” mentioned Caroline A. Thompson, PhD, the examine’s principal investigator. Thompson is a analysis fellow for the UNC Middle for Well being Promotion and Illness Prevention (HPDP), an affiliate professor of epidemiology within the UNC Gillings College of World Public Well being and member of the UNC Lineberger Complete Most cancers Middle.

Whereas ovarian most cancers accounts for under 3% of all cancers, it’s the fifth-leading reason behind cancer-related demise amongst U.S. girls. Additional, danger of demise from ovarian most cancers is greater for Black girls within the U.S., in addition to girls whose socioeconomic standing or rural location restrict their entry to most cancers care.

Previous scholarship has discovered these end result disparities aren’t totally defined by inequitable therapy—Black, rural, and low-income sufferers usually tend to be identified with ovarian most cancers at the next stage and with extra superior signs, already lowering their chance for survival.

“Understanding find out how to intervene earlier is important to lowering these survival disparities in medically and socially weak populations. Recognizing signs early, linking individuals to applicable, well-coordinated care, and providing assist assets like navigation and transportation help could also be important to well timed prognosis and follow-up in these populations,” mentioned Stephanie Wheeler, PhD, a co-investigator of the examine who’s a analysis fellow at HPDP, professor on the UNC Gillings College of World Public Well being, and affiliate director of group outreach and engagement on the UNC Lineberger Complete Most cancers Middle.

The examine will study knowledge from UNC Well being ovarian most cancers sufferers who had been identified in any respect phases and in varied well being care settings (major care, secondary care, and emergency care). Thompson and her crew hope to be taught why some ovarian most cancers sufferers are identified at a lot earlier phases than others. From these outcomes, the researchers will develop finest practices for ovarian most cancers screening and prognosis, together with improved public well being messaging, enhanced screening and diagnostic instruments for major care suppliers, and methods for minimizing delays to prognosis.

Thompson’s crew at UNC will collaborate with researchers on the College of California San Francisco (UCSF) who will examine an analogous set of questions in a affected person inhabitants from Northern California and contribute to a meta-analysis combining outcomes from each the North Carolina and California research.

“Our collaboration with UCSF is especially thrilling as a result of richness of their knowledge and our mixed talents to determine disparities throughout a spread of geographies and affected person teams, together with girls who determine as African American or Black, Hispanic, Asian American, and Pacific Islander, in a method that higher generalizes to the wealthy variety of the U.S.,” mentioned Thompson.

This examine was funded as a CDC Particular Curiosity Challenge (SIP), which helps public well being prevention analysis methods. HPDP is considered one of 26 CDC Prevention Analysis Facilities within the U.S. eligible to use for SIP grants.

“A core part of HPDP’s mission is to collaborate with analysis companions to enhance well being fairness, stop illness, and improve information amongst well being care practitioners. I imagine this examine will accomplish all of these objectives and extra,” mentioned Alice Ammerman, DrPH, HPDP director.

The examine begins September 30, 2022. Outcomes and motion plans might be shared with well being care suppliers, group members, and the CDC.


The UNC Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention addresses urgent well being issues by collaborating with communities to conduct analysis, present coaching, and translate analysis findings into coverage and follow. The Middle seeks to cut back well being disparities via an emphasis on community-engaged analysis.

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