"This project, which is being funded by the National Cancer Institute after a stiff nationwide competition, will involve UNC and five other U.S. medical centers as study sites," said Dr. Robert S. Sandler, professor of medicine and epidemiology. "Well follow 1,000 newly diagnosed colon cancer patients for five years, and the others will follow more than 9,000 other patients with either lung or colon cancer."
Sandler, co-director of UNCs Center for Gastrointestinal Biology and Disease and a member of the Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, will serve as principal investigator for the effort in North Carolina.
Collaborating centers will collect identical information about what happens to patients and pool the data to make it more useful, he said. They also will pursue special projects of their own design.
At the UNC site, researchers also will look specifically at "functional health literacy" how peoples literacy affects their health.
"Our hypothesis is that people who cant read and cant understand written information given to them by physicians or hospitals might not be able to negotiate the medical system and not do as well," Sandler said.
UNC investigators also will collect blood samples and tumor tissue from patients to learn if biological factors influence how patients fare, he said.
Besides Sandler, Drs. Joel E. Tepper, Marci K. Campbell, John T. Woosley, Morris Weinberger and others will participate in the project, called "Cancer Care Outcomes Research and Surveillance Consortium (CanCORS). Respectively, they are faculty members in radiation oncology, nutrition, pathology and health policy and adminis
Contact: David Williamson
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill