HomeHealthFirst long-term study to look at cancer in Asian Americans

First long-term study to look at cancer in Asian Americans

The first study to monitor research participants over a long period of time to diagnose the causes of cancer in Asian Americans is being launched.

The National Cancer Institute recently announced its funding $12.45 million for the project to focus on an understudied group, Asian Americans.

Among those researchers leading the study are those from both UC San Francisco and UC Irvine.

“The fact there’s been so little funded research in the cancer etiology of Asian Americans continues to perpetuate the sense that the cancer burden in these populations is very low,” said Scarlett Lin Gomez, PhD, MPH, co-leader of the Cancer Control Program at the Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, according to UCSF. “That the NCI recognized this as a major gap and will be providing funding for this historic cohort is a significant step forward.”

A few of the questions the study hopes to answer- why Asian American women who don’t smoke are susceptible to lung cancer and what’s behind the high rate of nasopharyngea or head and neck cancer in Chinese Americans as well as liver cancer in Southeast Asian Americans and gastric cancer in Korean and Japanese Americans or thyroid cancer in Filipino Americans?

LAist reports the researchers plan to recruit 20,000 study participants this year. with the ultimate goal of 50,000.

Study participants would be asked to give saliva samples and the commitment could last several years. They will also be asked to answer questions about their lifestyle. Interviews would be conducted remotely and there is no need for the participants to go to the study sites.

A lack of data on Asian Americans has hampered a more comprehensive look at the situation.

“So we want this problem to end now,” said Sora Tanjasiri, a public health professor at UC Irvine.  “We want to leave a legacy to future researchers so that they do not have to do what we’ve had to do up until now.”

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