Last week DF/HCC officially awarded its first “Grand Challenge” award to Beverly Moy, MD, MPH (MGH) for her project entitled, “Boosting Clinical Trial Accrual Among Underserved Cancer Patients through Partnerships”.
The grand challenge is the modern iteration of DF/HCC’s previous scheme of annual ‘Nodal Awards’. The theme of each Grand Challenge is determined by the Executive Committee and aligned with the Center’s strategic plan, and will rotate among basic, clinical, and population sciences. The first Grand Challenge was designed to spur implementation of thoughtful strategies to increase the representation of patients from racial and ethnic minorities in DF/HCC clinical trials. “We created this mechanism to provide new opportunities for underserved and minority cancer patients to participate in clinical trials,” said Timothy Rebbeck, PhD, DF/HCC Associate Director for Equity and Engagement. “We hoped that we would receive some proposals that would help us achieve this goal in MA, and we were not disappointed. Dr. Moy’s proposal to build strategic partnerships with the community and with clinical partners stood out as a unique opportunity for the DF/HCC to serve our community.”
Dr. Moy is an Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, Clinical Director of the Breast Oncology Program at Massachusetts General Hospital, as well as a member of the DF/HCC Breast Cancer Program. “The DF/HCC Grand Challenge award is particularly meaningful to me because it addresses an important inequity in cancer care affecting underrepresented minority cancer patients,” said Moy after being notified of her Grand Challenge award. This award will provide $250,000 for 1 year to Moy and her team of collaborators, Erica Warner, PhD (MGH), Jennifer Haas, MD, MSc (MGH), Brenda Lormil, CNP (MGH), and Anna Revette, PhD (DFCI), to help them achieve the aims laid out in their proposal: 1) Increase the proportion of Boston Medical Center (BMC) patients enrolled in DF/HCC trials, a population that according to the proposal has had trouble enrolling historically because of health insurance ineligibilities; and 2) Improve the experience of underrepresented minority patients that participate in DF/HCC trials.
“Cancer clinical trials offer access to the most promising novel treatments, but multiple obstacles prevent underrepresented minority cancer patients from participating,” said Moy, describing the challenges she and her group hope to tackle with their Grand Challenge project. The proposal hypothesis describes virtual bridges that Dr. Moy and colleagues hope to build to remove barriers between safety-net cancer centers and academic cancer centers such as those in the DF/HCC consortium.
“Fixing [these] problems are major social justice issues since entire patient populations are being deprived access to the most novel therapies, particularly in this promising era of genomic and precision medicine. Finding solutions to these issues will make lasting impact by bringing important cancer discoveries for all patients with cancer.”
Please join DF/HCC’s Grand Challenge team in congratulating Dr. Moy, Dr. Warner, Dr. Haas, Ms. Lormil, and Dr. Revette on their Grand Challenge award!