Leonel Rodriguez: Helpful Treatment Through a Cancer Clinical Trial


Leonel Rodriguez cancer clinical trial participation

Leonel Rodriguez got some terrible news in November 2019. Doctors diagnosed Rodriguez, a South Texas resident, with mantle cell lymphoma – an aggressive, rare form of non-Hodgkin lymphoma. The first medicines he took to treat the cancer actually worsened his condition. He soon learned about a potentially beneficial clinical trial for lymphoma patients at the Mays Cancer Center at UT Health San Antonio. Clinical trials help researchers learn how to better slow, manage, and treat diseases like cancer and Alzheimer’s. “[Clinical trials were] the best way because, you know, I feel good now with the treatment,” Rodriguez said. “Now I feel I've been feeling well, and well, well.” Rodriguez’s Decision to Participate in a Clinical Trial Rodriguez has come full circle ...

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Help South Texas Researchers Learn About Aging


Compadre CART

By 2030, 40% of Alzheimer’s patients in the U.S. will be Latino or Black. However, Latinos make up less than 1% of participants in National Institutes of Health clinical trials. Clinical trials are studies that help researchers learn more to help slow, manage, and treat Alzheimer’s and cancer for current and future family members. Without Latino volunteers for clinical trials, the benefits may miss this group. With Compadre CART at the Biggs Institute for Alzheimer’s & Neurodegenerative Diseases at UT Health San Antonio participants have the opportunity to help an underrepresented, high-risk group maintain independence with aging. To participate, contact Luis Serranorubio of the research team at 210-450-8447. Compadre CART Study Goals To learn more about why ...

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Mind, Body, Spirit: A Holistic Approach to Help Latina Breast Cancer Survivors



Stress is a grim reality for many Latinas after breast cancer. Survivors deal with health, fitness, finance, discrimination, and social challenges that reduce their quality of life and boost their risk of new or recurring cancers. That is why Drs. Amelie G. Ramirez, Daniel Carlos Hughes, and Patricia Chalela at UT Health San Antonio will conduct a holistic intervention to improve Latina breast cancer survivors' physical, mental, and spiritual well-being, thanks to a new, three-year, $600,000 grant from Susan G. Komen. Researchers will recruit 70 breast cancer survivors, half of them Latinas. Over six months, they will get: therapeutic yoga with meditation optional tailored exercise and diet counseling real-time psycho-social support based on survivors’ ...

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A Potential New Bladder Cancer Treatment May Benefit Latinos


bladder cancer

Bladder cancer is the fourth most common cancer in men and causes about 17,100 deaths annually in the US. About 75% of bladder cancer cases are non-muscle invasive. This means that the cancer affects the tissue lining of the inner surface of the bladder, but not the bladder muscle. While this type of bladder cancer is treatable, one of the most effective treatments for this disease – a tuberculosis vaccine – causes intolerable side effects for up to 84% of patients, which can prevent treatment completion. When treatments fail, the bladder may have to be removed, reducing the patient’s quality of life. However, a modified tuberculosis vaccine developed by Jordi B. Torrelles, PhD, a professor at Texas Biomedical Research Institute in San Antonio, could help treat non-muscle ...

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Latin Dance Could Improve Working Memory of Older Latinos


Latin Dance

From merengue to salsa, dance and music are at the heart of the Latino community. Latin dance celebrates culture, history, family, and joyous occasions. Now Latin dance is proving to help the working memory of older Latinos. Latinos age 55 or older who participated in a culturally relevant Latin dance program for 8 months significantly improved their working memory, compared to other peers in a controlled group that attended educational workshops, according to a recent study by researchers from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Let’s explore why Latin dance is so beneficial. What Did the Latin Dance Study Explore?  The recent study examined changes in cognitive performance among over 330 middle-aged and older Latinos participating in the Balance and Activity in ...

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Latinos, Become an Organ Donor Today!


Minority Organ Donor

Just as Latinos are underrepresented in medicine and clinical trials, they are also underrepresented in organ donation. In honor of August being National Minority Donor Awareness Month, here’s everything you need to know about organ donation, and why you should become a donor. What is Organ Donation and Transplantation? Organ donation and transplantation involves removing an organ from one person (the donor) and surgically placing it in another (the recipient). This process is done when the recipient’s organ has failed and they need a new organ to survive. Organ donation and transplantation can be performed with both living and deceased donors. Living Donation A living donation is an opportunity to save a life when you are still alive. Organs that can be donated ...

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You Can Help Researchers Across Texas!


Patient greeted by doctor.

UT Health San Antonio and other Texas universities are looking for healthy adults age 18 and older to participate in research studies across the state. Learn more about this opportunity and how you can participate! What is the Aim of the Studies? The University of Texas System Health Biobank Consortium is a collaborative effort among eight UT institutions to standardize and expand access to human biospecimens. Biospecimens are materials from the human body. They include tissues (hair, skin, or organs) and fluids (blood, urine, or saliva). These samples contain cellular, molecular, and chemical information. Along with the samples, biosbanks store biospecimens with personal and medical information (age, sex, race/ethnicity) and details about a donor’s lifetime environmental ...

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Donate a Biospecimen Today to Improve Latino Health Outcomes!



Have you ever wanted to help improve Latino health? Now is your chance! The National Institutes of Health’s All of Us Research Program is recruiting at least one million diverse people to share information about their health history and environment. Information collected for the database helps researchers learn how biology, lifestyle, and our environment affects our health. As part of the effort, participants donate a biospecimen in the form of a blood or saliva sample. Biospecimens can help researchers find new ways to prevent, diagnose, or treat diseases, such as Alzheimer’s or cancer, among Latinos and other groups. “We may study your samples to measure things that naturally occur within our bodies, for example, cholesterol,” according to the All of Us ...

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New Study Aims to Create Risk “Scorecard” for Dementia/Alzheimer’s Disease


Clinical Trials on Alzheimer's

Researchers at UC Davis Health and the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth Houston) are working on a new study to predict who is most at risk for dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. The study includes creating a health ‘scorecard’ for dementia risk. Here’s what you need to know about the study and how you can participate. Study Goal UT Health San Antonio will be the clinical research site for the Diverse Vascular Contributions to Cognitive Impairment and Dementia (Diverse VCID) study. Data will be collected through brain scans, genetics, and other key biomarkers. “Putting these very different pieces of information together, our ultimate goal is to really come up with a risk profile,” Dr. Charles DeCarli, Professor of Neurology and ...

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