Conference Pushes for Progress in Latino Cancer Research

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Latino cancer is the top killer of U.S. Latinos.

In response, the Advancing the Science of Cancer in Latinos conference brought together more than 225 cancer experts from 23 states and Puerto Rico to tackle Latino cancer on Feb. 21-23, 2018, in San Antonio.

Advancing the Science of Cancer in LatinosThe conference was co-hosted by Dr. Amelie G. Ramirez’s Institute for Health Promotion Research at UT Health San Antonio (the team behind Salud America!) and Mays Cancer Center at UT Health San Antonio MD Anderson.

“It was the first time Latino cancer researchers came together to share what we know about cancers in Latinos,” and the energy was palpable, Ramirez told Elaine Ayala of the San Antonio Express-News.

The conference welcomed lab investigators, doctors, public health workers, community leaders, health educators, and students to network together, and hear speeches from Latino cancer leaders like Dr. Eliseo Perez-Stable of the National Institute on Minority Health & Health Disparities and Dr. Edith Perez of Genentech.

“In this room are the people who have the power to take those ugly Latino cancer statistics and reverse them,” Ramirez said. “To take a detestable cancer and learn what makes it tick…then make it treatable…then make it preventable…then take a message of prevention to all corners of our nation.”

Investigators also presented more than 70 Latino cancer research studies.

Ramirez in Castro enewsletterU.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro stopped by to join a panel on emerging policies in healthcare with Robert T. Croyle (National Cancer Institute), Esteban Lopez (Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas), and Elena V. Rios (National Hispanic Medical Association).

“We need to make sure we protect the Affordable Care Act,” Castro said, while also decrying cuts to research funding.

Although the conference is over, Ramirez’s team plans to publish a scientific article to highlight the discussion and progress made during the conference.

“We have the power to take a health disparity and turn it into health equity.”

By The Numbers By The Numbers

37

Percent

of Head Start and Early Head Start participants are Latino.

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