Advancing the Science of Cancer in Latinos: 2022 Conference Proceedings


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In the next few years, Latinos face a 142% rise in cancer rates.

Latinos also experience cancer differently—from genetics to healthcare access to survivorship.

advancing the science of cancer in latinos coverThat’s why Dr. Amelie Ramirez, director of Salud America! and the Institute for Health Promotion Research at UT Health San Antonio, partnered with the Mays Cancer Center to create the Advancing the Science of Cancer in Latinos (ASCL) biennial conference. Read the proceedings from the 2018 and 2020 ASCL Conferences.

The 2022 ASCL Conference on Feb. 23-25, 2022, in San Antonio, Texas, welcomed over 250 prominent researchers, physicians, healthcare professionals, patient advocates, and students from across the globe to address cancer health disparities among Latinos. Conference sponsors included major supporters Genentech and Bristol Myers Squibb; contributors Gilead Sciences and Novartis; donors Adaptive, Pfizer, and AstraZeneca; and exhibitors Caris, Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Sobi NA, Texas Society of Clinical Oncology, Regeneron, Genentech, Bristol Myers Squibb, Bayer, Immudex, National Alliance for Hispanic Health, and Merck & Co. Inc.

2022 ASCL Conference speakers and attendees discussed Latino healthcare inequities, cancer disparities across the cancer care continuum, and much more.

The following “Advancing the Science of Cancer in Latinos: 2022 Conference Proceedings” summarizes findings of Latino leaders in the areas of cancer research, healthcare disparity, COVID policy, clinical trial inequity, international cooperation, community intervention, end-of-life care, and social justice. The information presented, however, merely represents a beginning, with the hope that dialog and collaboration will continue, providing new solutions for the elimination of health disparities among Latino populations.

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Full PDF of the 2022 Advancing the Science of Cancer in Latinos Conference Proceedings (PDF)


The United States healthcare system is rife with systemic inequities affecting the Latinx community, the largest ethnic minority in the country with a population of 60.6 million.

Section 1: Addressing Systemic Inequities Behind Cancer Disparities

  • Addressing Systemic Inequities and Structural Racism to Advance Health Equity for Latinos, Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith
  • Paying Respects and Con Respeto: Economic Considerations of Community-driven Interventions, Dr. Yamilé Molina
  • Two Tales, One Goal: Equity, Dr. Narjust Duma
  • Obesity Through the Cancer Continuum: Current Evidence and Guidelines for Cancer Prevention and Control, Dr. Elisa Bandera
  • Genetic Ancestry, BMI and Tumor Genomic Alterations Among Latinx – Increasing Data Complexity, Dr. Lorna Rodriguez-Rodriguez
  • Obesity and Severe Obesity: Opportunities for Culture-Based Cancer Risk Reduction in Latinxs, Dr. Lisa Sanchez-Johnsen
  • Neighborhoods, Obesity and Cancer Among Latinxs, Dr. Carola T. Sánchez Díaz

Section 2: The State of Latino Cancer Policy and Advocacy

  • Effective Latino Cancer Policy Requires Effective Legislative Advocacy, Dr. Jaime Estrada
  • The State of Policy Advocacy in Latino Cancer, Dr. Rogelio Sáenz

Section 3: Latino Cancer Research Methodology

  • Framing Latino Cancer Research and the Census Bureau Data That Enable It, Mr. Robert L. Santos
  • Why Structure Matters, Dr. Robert A. Winn
  • Advancing breast and liver cancer research in Mexico, Dr. Martin Lajous
  • FIPOL: An International Effort to Support Latino Psycho-Oncology Research and Capacity Building, Dr. Rosario Costas-Muñiz
  • Achievements of the Latin American Cancer Research Network (LACRN) and Lessons Learned: Notes to Improve Cancer Science in Latin America, Dr. Andrea Llera

Section 4: The Impact of COVID-19 on Cancer Care

  • COVID-19 Past, Present and Future, Dr. Carlos Del Rio
  • The Impact of COVID-19 among Latinos and NIH Initiatives to Advance Health Equity, Dr. Monica Webb Hooper
  • The Impact of COVID-19 Among Pediatric Oncology Patients, Dr. Terrie Flatt

Section 5: Tackling Specific Cancer Disparities

  • Updates in Genomics of Breast Cancer among Latina Women, Dr. Elad Ziv
  • Updates and Trends in Breast Cancer Treatment: Advancing the Science of Cancer in Latinos, Dr. Filipa Lynce
  • The Landscape of Breast Cancer Genetics in Puerto Rico, Dr. Julie Dutil
  • Lung Cancer in Latinos: Disparities Across the Continuum of Care, Dr. M. Patricia Rivera
  • Targeting Tumor Microenvironments in Lung Cancer, Dr. Josephine Taverna
  • Lung Cancer Drivers in Hispanic/Latinos, Dr. W. Douglas Cress
  • Feasibility and Acceptability of Culturally Adapted Survivorship Care Virtual GMVs for Spanish-Speaking Latinas with Breast Cancer in a Diverse Setting, Dr. Ana I. Velazquez
  • Social Determinants of Health Impact on Gastric Cancer Risk, Dr. Dorothy Long Parma
  • Cardiometabolic Comorbidities in Hispanic/Latino Cancer Survivors: Prevalence and Impact on Health-Related Quality of Life and Supportive Care Needs, Dr. Ashley Maras
  • Cultural Differences in Family Caregiver Support in End-of-Life Cancer Care, Dr. Paul Maciejewski
  • Gastrointestinal Cancers in Latinos: Recent Trends and Emerging Risk Factors, Dr. V. Wendy Setiawan

Section 6: Cancer Screening Disparities

  • Cancer Screening in Puerto Rico Challenges and Opportunities to Address Health Disparities, Dr. Guillermo Tortolero-Luna
  • Practice Transformation to Improve Cancer Screening Outcomes at an Academic Medical Center, Dr. Rebecca Jones

Section 7: Cancer Clinical Trials

  • Novel Therapeutic Approach to Reduce Health Disparity in B-cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia in Hispanic/Latino Children, Dr. Sinisa Dovat
  • Overcoming Disparities in Cancer Care: The Importance of Clinical Trials, Dr. Gladys I. Rodriguez
  • Developing Cancer Drugs for All: A Regulatory Perspective, Dr. Lola Fashoyin-Aje
  • What We Don’t Know Might Hurt Us: The Impact of Racial and Ethnic Minority Underrepresentation in Cancer Clinical Trials, Dr. Jose Trevino

Section 8: Latino Cancer Survivorship

  • Leading Pathways: The Hispanic/Latino Survivorship Study, Dr. Frank Penedo
  • Equity in Cancer Care: Loriana’s Story, Loriana Hernandez-Aldama
  • Equity in Cancer Care: Daniel’s Story, Daniel G. Garza
  • The Therapeutic Alliance and End-of-life Care Disparities for Latino Cancer Patients, Dr. Ana I. Tergas

Section 9: The Industry Role in Cancer Research Innovation

  • Transformative Strategies for Integration of Health Equity Principles in Science and Access in the US, Dr. Edith A. Perez
  • Advancing Precision Medicine Through Comprehensive Molecular Profiling, Dr. Yashira Negrón Abril
  • How BMS is Addressing the Need for Greater Diversity in Clinical Trials, Lorena Kuri
  • Increasing Access to Cancer Screening: Working with Latinx Communities in Texas, Dr. Michael del Aguila
  • Increasing Diversity in Clinical Research, Dr. Veronica Sandoval

Section 10: Latino Cancer Research Resources

  • Using Science to Address Latino Health Disparities Research, Dr. Eliseo J. Pérez-Stable
  • Update from the National Cancer Institute, Dr. Katrina Goddard
  • Cancer Epidemiology in Hispanic Populations: Overview, Future Directions, and Resources, Dr. Tram Kim Lam
  • Optimizing Patient-Clinician Communication for Hispanic/Latino Persons with Cancer through Open Notes and the 21st Century Cures Act, Dr. Carli Zegers

Conclusions and Recommendations

To eliminate cancer disparities in Latinx populations, the 2022 Advancing the Science of Cancer in Latinos conference brought together researchers, scientists, physicians, healthcare professionals, patient advocates, and students from across the US and Latin America. These presenters shared research advancements, identified gaps, developed actionable goals, updated clinical best practices, described effective community interventions, and detailed professional training programs aimed at addressing inequity. In the process, most of the speakers made recommendations, either specific to their field of study or more broadly. The following are some key recommendations abstracted from their conference presentations.

About the Authors

  • Amelie G. Ramirez, DrPH, Director, Salud America!, Professor, Institute for Health Promotion Research, UT Health San Antonio
  • Sarah C. Nicholson, PhD, Lead Medical Writer, SCN Medical Communications
  • David Jones, Associate Medical Writer, SCN Medical Communications

This report is copyright 2023 Salud America! at UT Health San Antonio.


By The Numbers By The Numbers



Expected rise in Latino cancer cases in coming years

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