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OCOE Research

Supporting Research and Projects that Improve Health in Many Populations

Our projects are conducted by researchers from Fred Hutch as well as our Consortium partner institutions, University of Washington, Seattle Children's and Seattle Cancer Care Alliance. We also partner with external research teams. Studies and projects are carried out across a number of populations and across the cancer contimuum — from prevention and screening to treatment. Cultural sensitivity is often a key factor in determing study methods.

Recruitment and Retention

Does your research team need technical assistance or support with study recruitment or engaging with a particular community?

Historically underserved populations are much less likely to engage in research studies or clinical trials for a number of reasons. Even now, individuals from underserved populations are less likely to know about clinical trials. Furthermore, numerous attitudinal and structural barriers have been noted as contributors to the low rate of participation in research studies by underrepresented groups. There is an overriding need to recruit people from diverse racial/ethnic groups into clinical trials to improve cancer prevention and treatment across all populations. 

The OCOE Recruitment and Retention Resource is implementing training programs and resources to increase awareness for researchers to authentically include underrepresented groups from catchment populations in research and clinical trials. The OCOE can assist Consortium researchers with study design and recruitment by using culturally tailored approaches to promote participation in Consortium studies and trials.

Please fill out our form to request support from the OCOE with community-based participatory research, or community-engaged research best practices in general, culturally and/or linguistically appropriate recruitment, community connection/engagement, technical assistance, or other support. 

Contact us for technical assistance or support with study recruitment or engaging with a particular community.

Disease Screening

Screening Mammography and Latinas: A Multilevel Intervention

Shirley Beresford, Ph.D., Fred Hutch
  • Population: Hispanic/Latina
  • Specific Population: Hispanic women
  • Study Focus: Screening

An intervention project that seeks to increase screening for breast cancer among Latinas. Its goal is to address multi-level social determinants to both increase screening and decrease barriers to screening. It will examine the influence of neighborhood characteristics and community cohesion on breast cancer screening.

The CARE Study: A multicenter study of risk factors for breast cancer in White and Black U.S. women

Kathi Malone, Ph.D., Fred Hutch
  • Population: African American women
  • Study Focus: Genetics, Screening

The CARE Study is a multicenter study (Seattle, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Detroit, Atlanta) of White and Black women ages 35-64. It’s designed to assess a number of factors, including racial and age-related variation, on the effects of breast cancer risk factors, mammographic efficacy and genetic susceptibility. Malone led the genetic susceptibility work, which assessed risk in relation to mutations in the BRCA1/2 genes, as well as in other genes. This was the first large-scale effort to characterize the prevalence and risk related to BRCA1/2 in African-American women (Malone, 2006). Analyses and manuscript development are ongoing.

Community Network Program Center (CNPC) Administrative Supplement Activities

Beti Thompson, Ph.D., Fred Hutch
  • Population: Hispanic/Latina, medically underserved
  • Study Focus: Cervical cancer screening education

In this administrative supplement, we identify gaps and barriers in the delivery of information about Pap and HPV test results for cervical cancer screening among Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic clients. We develop culturally appropriate messages and content for a digital story, fotonovela, and radionovela to help women gain an understanding about HPV and what a positive HPV test result means. We field test the three sources of information to define the best methods for educating our audience.

Center for Hispanic Health Promotion: Reducing Cancer Disparities

Beti Thompson, Ph.D.
  • Population: Hispanic/Latino, Native American/Alaska Native 
  • Specific Population: Native American, Hispanic 
  • Study Focus: All

The long-term goal of the Center for Hispanic Health Promotion: Reducing Cancer Disparities is using a Community-Based Participatory Research (CBPR) approach to reduce the cancer disparities experienced by Hispanics and Native Americans in the Yakima and Franklin Counties of Washington. Our short-term objectives are:

  • Developing and enhancing existing relationships with community partners in both counties to reduce cancer disparities among Latinos and members of the Yakama Nation.
  • Increasing health promotion outreach and cancer screening activities among Latinos and members of the Yakama Nation.
  • Increasing cervical cancer screening among Latinas using a rigorous research project.
  • Developing and assessing the feasibility of a sustainable support system for cancer patients and survivors.
  • Training junior investigators, especially from underrepresented minorities, in grant writing and CBPR to reduce cancer disparities.

Understanding and Preventing Breast Cancer Disparities in Latinas

Beti Thompson, Ph.D., Fred Hutch
  • Population: Hispanic/Latina
  • Specific Population: Latina women
  • Study Focus: Genetics, Screening

The long-term goal of the project is to understand the precursors of breast cancer in Latinas, understand the types of breast cancer found in this population, and develop and implement a comprehensive screening program to improve early detection of the disease.

Indigenous Wellness Research Institute (IWRI)

Bonnie Duran, Dr. PH, M.P.H.
  • Population: Native American, Alaska Native
  • Study Focus: Other

Aimed at marshaling community, tribal, academic and governmental resources toward innovative, culture-centered interdisciplinary, collaborative social and behavioral research and education.

Health Communications

Collaboration for a Healthy Community

Linda Ko, Ph.D., Fred Hutch
Cynthia Perry
  • Population: Lower Yakima Valley
  • Study Focus: Childhood obesity

To develop an obesity prevention campaign to promote youth obesity awareness and control using community-based participatory research.

Colon Health Communication within Social Networks

Linda Ko, Ph.D., Fred Hutch
  • Population: Hispanic/Latino adults from Eastern Washington
  • Study Focus: Health communication

To examine how communication around colorectal cancer screening is disseminated through social networks.

The Legacy Project

Jeffrey Shouten, M.D., Fred Hutch
  • Population: African American, Hispanic/Latino, Native Americans, women, men who have sex with men, transgender people
  • Study Focus: HIV/AIDS

The Legacy Project works nationally to increase awareness of and build support for HIV prevention and treatment, and clinical and behavioral research by addressing factors that influence participation of historically underrepresented communities. The Legacy Project achieves its core mission through ongoing and strategic engagement, collaboration, education and scientific investigation. With a team of diverse, skilled and devoted staff, the Legacy Project works to cultivate and enhance partnerships and relationships among the National Institutes of Health (NIH) HIV/AIDS Clinical Trials Networks and research sites, research and academic institutions, government agencies, community-based organizations and affiliates, while ensuring a commitment to capacity building for communities and populations most impacted by the HIV epidemic in the United States.

Health Disparities

Alliance for Reducing Cancer, Northwest: Cancer Prevention and Control Research

Linda Ko, Ph.D., Fred Hutch
  • Population: Asians and Latinos
  • Study Focus: Health disparities

To implement and disseminate evidence-based intervention to address health disparities experienced by limited-English proficiency populations.

NARCH V-Research for Change: Cross-Site Multicultural Community-Based Participatory Research

Bonnie Duran, Dr. PH, M.P.H.
  • Population: Native American, Alaska Native

An in-depth investigation of promoters and barriers to community-based participatory research in Native American and Alaska Native communities and other under-served populations, in order to improve health status and health equity.

Geographical Management of Programs (GMaP)

Beti Thompson, Ph.D., Fred Hutch
  • Population: All 
  • Study Focus: Cancer Health Disparities Research and Training

GMaP is a systematic and comprehensive approach to facilitating collaboration, cooperation, information- and resource-sharing and capacity-building among cancer health disparities researchers, trainees, outreach workers and organizations.

Lifestyle & Behavior

Where Health and Horticulture Interesect: A Navajo Wellness Collaboration

Shirley Beresford, Ph.D., Fred Hutch
India Orneles, Ph.D., University of Washington
Kevin Lombard, Ph.D., New Mexico State University
  • Population: Navajo, New Mexico
  • Specific Population: Navajo Men and Women
  • Study Focus: Nutrition, Gardening

This pilot project is part of an ongoing partnership with members of the Navajo Nation in New Mexico. The long-term goal of this cancer-related public health intervention is increasing vegetable and fruit consumption and general health among people of the Navajo Nation.

Guided by an adaptation of social cognitive theory, we plan jointly to develop community gardens and provide culturally appropriate workshops with technical horticultural support to augment these garden projects through a phased collaborative intervention in Navajo communities. Aspects of Navajo culture and traditional practices will be integrated into the intervention activities. Ultimately, we plan to estimate the effects of an integrated intervention on gardening and fruit and vegetable consumption, as well as the effects on self-monitoring, self-efficacy, behavioral capability, and social norms related to gardening and vegetable and fruit consumption.

This project will lay the groundwork for an R01 proposal to formally evaluate the effectiveness of the intervention with a group randomized design. In the pilot, using a quasi-experimental design, we will obtain estimates of effect size and variability for use in determining the sample size for the R01. This proposal is directly responsive to the overall goal of the NMSU/Fred Hutch partnership: it will increase the capacity of NMSU to conduct cancer research in a competitive environment and attention at the Hutch to cancer-related health disparities research.

Food & Fitness

Linda Ko, Ph.D.
  • Population: Hispanic/Latino adults from Eastern Washington
  • Study Focus: Food environment  

To examine how socioeconomic status (SES) and environmental variables predict subsequent changes in energy intakes, diet quality and cost, physical activity, and body weight.


Risk Factors for Triple-negative and HER2-overexpressing Breast Cancer among Hispanic Women and Non-Hispanic Women

Christopher Li, Ph.D., Fred Hutch
  • Population: Hispanic/Latina
  • Specific Population: Hispanic women 
  • Study Focus: Prevention

To explore the reproductive factors, anthropometric measures, mammographic density and family history of breast cancer related to risks of TN and H2E breast cancer in Hispanic v. non-Hispanic women.

Treatment & Survivorship

Addressing Psychosocial Disparities in Rural Hispanic Cancer Survivors

Rachel Ceballos, Ph.D., Fred Hutch
  • Population: Hispanic/Latina
  • Specific Population: Hispanic breast and reproductive cancer survivors 
  • Study Focus: Survivorship

To develop a Spanish-language support program based on Social-Cognitive Theory for rural Hispanic survivors of female reproductive cancer and to evaluate the program using psychosocial and biological outcomes.

Sisters Healing, Advocating, Praising, Empowering Sisters (SHAPES)

Rachel Ceballos, Ph.D., Fred Hutch
Yamile Molina, Ph.D., University of Illinois Cancer Center
Community Advocates, Jacci Thompson-Dodd, Bridgette Hempstead-Richardson, Shauna Weatherby, Arthur Walker, Edree Allen-Agbro
  • Population: Women who identify as African American, Black and/or of African descent
  • Specific Population: Women who identify as African American, Black and/or of African descent who have received an abnormal mammogram result
  • Study Focus: Abnormal mammogram as well as diagnosis/treatment experiences

Fred Hutch staff and affiliates, including community advocates, conducted a qualitative study to address the experiences of women who identify as African American, Black and/or of African descent when they receive an abnormal mammogram result. We are especially interested in comparing and contrasting their experiences with stressors, coping strategies and healthcare experiences relative to non-Latina White and Latina women, as well as assessing the variation in experiences among women who identify differently within this group.

A Multi-State Study of Cancer Treatment and Outcomes Among Native Americans

Scott Ramsey, M.D., Ph.D.
  • Population: Native American/Alaska Native
  • Specific Population: Native American, Alaska Native cancer patients
  • Study Focus: Treatment, Survivorship

This project links clinical information, health care claims, and outcomes data for Native American/Alaska Native cancer patients in CA, OR and WA. This resource will be used to evaluate adherence to cancer treatment and post-treatment surveillance for Native American/Alaska Native Medicaid and Medicare enrollees diagnosed with lung, breast, colorectal, prostate, cervical, ovarian and stomach cancer.

Cancer Center Support Grant Administrative Supplement Activities

Beti Thompson, Ph.D., Fred Hutch
Gary Gilliland, M.D., Fred Hutch
  • Population: Racially/Ethnically diverse populations 
  • Study Focus: Clinical Trials

The overall goals of this supplement are to build on previous efforts by parent grant programs to expand research with underserved populations and find ways to increase inclusion of minorities in research and clinical trials in the cancer center catchment area.

Training & Internships

Partnership for the Advancement of Cancer Research

Beti Thompson, Ph.D., Fred Hutch
  • Population: All 
  • Study Focus: All

The overall goal of the Fred Hutch/NMSU partnership is to continue to build upon increasing cancer research capacity at NMSU and increase knowledge and attention to cancer-related health disparities research at the Hutch. We achieve this goal through:

  • Conducting a diverse portfolio of cancer research projects.
  • Maintaining, strengthening and evaluating our training programs for current and future underrepresented scientists.
  • Implementing cancer-related public health interventions in underserved communities.

This project sponsors a broad portfolio of innovative projects and cores to promote the development of culturally-appropriate research, training and outreach.

Partnership for the Advancement of Cancer Research: Summer Undergraduate Internship Project

Julian Simon, Ph.D.
  • Population: Underrepresented communities
  • Specific Population: NMSU students who identify as underrepresented minorities

The Summer Undergraduate Research Program [SURP] is an intensive, nine-week internship designed to provide research experience and mentorship for undergraduate students who are interested in biological research. Under the guidance of a faculty mentor, students will complete an independent research project and present their findings at a competitive poster session.