UK receives $6 million for Appalachia Community Cancer Network


LEXINGTON, Ky. (May 26, 2005) - The University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center has received a $6 million grant to operate the seven-state Appalachia Community Cancer Network (ACCN). The center will receive $1.2 million a year for five years from the National Cancer Institute (NCI), the nation's leader in cancer research.

The ACCN is one of 25 grantees in the Community Networks Program, a national NCI research initiative to reduce cancer disparities through community participation in education, research and training. The networks will focus on smoking cessation, healthy eating and physical activity, as well as early detection and treatment of specific cancers.

Based at the UK Markey Cancer Center's Prevention Research Center (PRC), the ACCN will serve the Appalachian regions of Kentucky, Maryland, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia. It will focus on prevention and early detection of lung, cervical and colorectal cancers, all of which have high incidence and mortality rates in these seven states.

The principal investigator for this project is Mark Dignan, Director, PRC, and the co-investigator is Dr. Stephen Wyatt, Dean, UK College of Public Health. The ACCN's partner institutions are Pennsylvania State University, West Virginia University, Ohio State University and Virginia Polytechnic Institute.

The new network will build on the progress made by the Appalachia Cancer Network (ACN), part of a previous NCI community-based research program that ended earlier this year.

UK Appalachia Community Cancer Network

The ACN had worked with 35 community cancer coalitions in its service area, which included all the ACCN states except Ohio. The ACCN will also work with these coalitions.

"We are appreciative of the opportunity to expand on the solid foundation established by the Appalachian Cancer Network," Dignan said. "It is important that we continue to find better ways to address the high cancer burden in Appalachian communities."

The ACCN will also collaborate with community-based leaders, researchers, clinicians and public health professionals, as well as other organizations, particularly the Mid-South Cancer Information Service (CIS). The Mid-South CIS is another NCI-funded program operated by the UK Markey Cancer Center.

Other community networks across the country are addressing high cancer rates among African Americans, American Indians/Alaska Natives, Hawaiian Natives and other Pacific Islanders, Asians, Hispanics/Latinos, and underserved rural populations.

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