Recommendation 2-5: The committee commends the proposed NCI program of expanded behavioral and epidemiologic research examining the relationship between cancer and cancer risk factors associated with various ethnic minority and medically underserved groups and recommends that these studies be conducted both across and within these groups.
Overview of Programs of Research on Ethnic Minority and Medically Underserved Populations at the National Institutes of Health
Recommendation 3-1: The Office of Research on Minority Health should more actively serve a coordinating, planning, and facilitative function regarding research relevant to cancer among ethnic minority and medically underserved populations across relevant institutes and centers of NIH. To further this goal, the Office of Research on Minority Health should
- make criteria for Minority Health Initiative project support explicit;
- coordinate with other specialty offices (e.g., the Office of Research on Women's Health) by participating in NIH-wide coordination efforts such as the Research Enhancement Awards Program; and
- ensure that Minority Health Initiative funding does not supplant funding from institutes and centers for research and programs relevant to ethnic minority and medically underserved populations.
Recommendation 3-2: Research and research funding relevant to cancer among ethnic minority and medically underserved populations should be more adequately assessed (as per Recommendation 3-3) and should be increased.
Recommendation 3-3: NIH should improve the accuracy of its assessment of research that is relevant to ethnic minority and medically underserved groups by replacing the current "percent relevancy" accounting method with one that identifies studies whose purpose is to address a priori research questions uniquely affecting ethnic minority and medically underserved groups.
Recommendation 3-4: The newly established program of behavioral and social science research at NCI addresses an area of research that has been neglected in the past. The committee urges that this program of research identify as one of its highest priorities a focus on the cancer prevention, control, and treatment needs of ethnic minority and medically underserved groups.