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IOM Undertakes Study of Cancer and Minorities

IOM Undertakes Study of Cancer and Minorities

Intense lobbying by the Intercultural Cancer Council (ICC) resulted in Congress providing $600,000 for a study on "the status of research into cancer among minorities and the medically underserved at the National Institutes of Health." The study will be carried out by an advisory committee expected to be established in early 1997 by the Institute of Medicine. The committee will examine a laundry list of issues, some of them already the subject of analysis by the new NCI office of special populations headed by Otis Brawley, md, an oncologist. Brawley says he is trying to come up with a research agenda that gets beyond some of the myths that have politicized the cancer field. For example, he notes that contrary to conventional wisdom, blacks in many cases form a disproportionately high percentage of participants in cancer treatment trials. Lovell Jones, phd, director of experimental gynecology-endocrinology at the Univeristy of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, and co-founder of the ICC, says, "Our hope is that the IOM's findings will reveal new research directions and opportunities, and help overcome research shortcomings of earlier years when minority scientists were only on the fringes of U.S. medicine." The IOM will be reporting their findings back to Congress by January, 1998.

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