National PSA Campaign Promotes Latino Cancer Study Participation

 a new public awareness initiative

November 1, 2001

Redes En Acción has launched a new public awareness initiative with a national media campaign informing Latinos about the availability of cancer studies and benefits of participation in clinical trials. Although Latinos comprise 12.5 percent of the U.S. population and are the nation's fastest-growing minority group, in cancer research participation, the percentage of Latinos falls dramatically below non-Hispanic whites. In National Cancer Institute cancer clinical trials, the proportion of Latino participants is less than 6 percent, as compared to 85 percent representation by non-Hispanic whites. "Many Latinos are unaware of the opportunities available to take part in cutting-edge cancer research," noted Amelie G. Ramirez, DrPH, Redes En Acción Principal Investigator. "This means that ongoing cancer research does not adequately reflect the needs of Latinos, and that many Latino cancer patients are missing out on opportunities to receive the latest cancer treatments." Through the new national public service campaign, Redes En Acción, in partnership with the Cancer Information Service (CIS), is addressing the under-representation of Latinos in cancer studies. Through a series of video, audio and print public service announcements (PSAs), the campaign encourages Latinos to learn more about participating in clinical trials. PSAs produced in both English and Spanish have been distributed to hundreds of television, radio, newspaper and magazine media around the country. Developed by Redes En Acción, the PSAs provide the toll-free CIS telephone number (1-800-4-CANCER) and urge Latinos to call for information about cancer research in general and, in particular, studies taking place in their area. The PSA campaign is part of ongoing cancer awareness, research and training efforts of Redes En Acción.

What Is Redes En Acción? Redes En Acción is a major NCI-supported initiative to combat cancer among Latinos through a nationwide network of community-based organizations, research institutions, government health agencies and the public. Core activities include promoting cancer training and research opportunities for Latino students and researchers, generating research projects on key Latino cancer issues, and supporting cancer awareness activities within the Latino community.

The initiative is coordinated by the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston and San Antonio, with regional network centers in San Antonio, New York, Miami, Chicago, San Francisco and San Diego.