San Antonio to host national Latino cancer meeting

10th-annual Redes En Acción National Steering Committee Meeting is March 4-5

SAN ANTONIO (March 3, 2010) — Investigators of Redes En Acción: The National Latino Cancer Research Network, a National Cancer Institute-funded program based at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, will meet Thursday and Friday, March 4 and 5. The event is the 10th-annual National Steering Committee Meeting of Redes En Acción.

The meeting, at the Hotel Contessa, 306 W. Market St. in San Antonio, will unite more than 75 key researchers and community leaders from across the nation to tackle critical Latino cancer issues and explore nuevas fronteras in cancer research.

The event is by invitation only, but media members are welcome.

Special guests at the meeting, which marks Redes’ 10th anniversary, include: William L. Henrich, M.D., president, UT Health Science Center San Antonio; Robert T. Croyle, Ph.D., director of the NCI’s Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences; and Elena Rios, M.D., president and CEO, National Hispanic Medical Association.

“We will celebrate Redes’ decade of success in research, training and education to reduce Latino cancer, as well as inspire researchers, leaders and policy-makers to strive for new ways to prevent Latino cancer in the future, including training a new generation of Latino researchers and making advancements in screening, access to care and survivorship,” said Amelie G. Ramirez, Dr.P.H., director of Redes and the Institute for Health Promotion Research at the UT Health Science Center.

The NCI formed Redes En Acción: The National Latino Cancer Research Network (Grant No. U01 CA114657) in 2000 to address the unequal cancer burden among Latinos.

Latinos, one of the youngest and fastest-growing U.S. population groups, suffer high rates of cervical, liver, stomach and gallbladder cancers, childhood leukemia and obesity, and poor outcomes, such as breast cancer, the No. 1 killer of Latinas.

Redes created a national and regional infrastructure for collaboration among more than 1,800 grassroots leaders, local communities, researchers and public health professionals to stimulate cancer control research, training and awareness.

In 10 years, Redes has: launched a national patient navigator study to close the time-lag gaps and alleviate cancer disparities affecting Latinas after abnormal breast cancer screening results; surpassed $228 million in leveraged funding among its members; supported 18 NCI-funded pilot research projects whose pilot investigators have gone on to secure additional cancer research funding; trained or mentored more than 225 young Latinos; and developed a multifaceted public communications effort that features a Web site, e-communications, community and academic events, videos and educational materials like the bilingual Buena Vida cancer health magazines.

At the meeting, leaders of Redes and its five regional sites across the country will show how they’ve reduced Latino cancer. Pilot investigators will talk about how Redes support helped them launch their own independent cancer research careers.

Andy Miller, M.H.S.E., director of survivorship for the Lance Armstrong Foundation, will address making cancer a global priority.

The meeting also will address new frontiers in Latino cancer research, including diet and exercise trends in cancer interventions, public health issues along the U.S.-Mexico border, and successful strategies to help Latinos live, with, through and beyond cancer.

“Redes has achieved a great deal in 10 years, but there is much more still to do,” Dr. Ramirez said. “It will take a concerted, collaborative effort to reduce cancer’s impact among Latinos as minorities become the majority in the U.S. in coming years.”

For more information, contact Cliff Despres of the Institute for Health Promotion Research (IHPR) at the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio at 210-562-6517 or A program agenda is below.

The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, one of the country’s leading health sciences universities, ranks in the top 2 percent of all U.S. institutions receiving federal funding. Research and other sponsored program activity totaled a record $259 million in fiscal year 2009. The university’s schools of medicine, nursing, dentistry, health professions and graduate biomedical sciences have produced 27,000 graduates. The $753 million operating budget supports six campuses in San Antonio, Laredo, Harlingen and Edinburg. For more information on the many ways “We make lives better®,”

Redes En Acción: The National Latino Cancer Research Network, established in 2000, is a Community Networks Program supported by the National Cancer Institute’s Center to Reduce Cancer Health Disparities (Grant No. U01 CA114657). The network, headquartered at the Institute for Health Promotion Research at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, and led by Amelie G. Ramirez, Dr.P.H. The network also has five regional sites: Northwest, Eliseo J. Pérez-Stable, M.D., University of California, San Francisco; Northeast, Juan Emilio Carrillo, M.D., M.P.H., New York Weill Cornell Medical Center; Southwest, Gregory A. Talavera, M.D., M.P.H., San Diego State University; Central, Maria E. Fernandez, Ph.D., The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston; and Southeast, Frank J. Penedo, Ph.D., University of Miami. Visit Redes at

The Institute for Health Promotion Research (IHPR) investigates the causes and solutions to the unequal impact of cancer and chronic disease among certain populations, including Latinos, in San Antonio, South Texas and the nation. The IHPR, founded in 2006, is based at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio with a satellite office in Harlingen, Texas. The IHPR uses evidence-guided research, training and community outreach to improve the health of those at a disadvantage due to race/ethnicity or social determinants. Visit the IHPR online at or e-mail The IHPR also operates an online Latino health forum, SaludToday, which features a blog ( and social media pages.

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