ALCANCE PROJECT

Monterey County Addressing Latinx CANcer Care Equity

News & Updates

February 28, 2022

The Addressing Latinx CANcer Care Equity (ALCANCE) project, funded through the California Initiative to Advance Precision Medicine, has entered its third year with our community sites, Pacific Cancer Care and Clinica de Salud del Valle de Salinas (CSVS).

At PCC, nearly 70 patients have enrolled in the randomized controlled trial to reduce cancer disparities by improving the knowledge and delivery of evidence-based precision medicine for cancer care. Participants randomized to the intervention group receive support from Community Health Workers (CHWs) Jerry Villicana and Maria Leach, including education on molecular profiling, tumor testing, and precision medicine. Meanwhile, at Clinica de Salud del Valle, we recently welcomed a new team member with experience in research and oncology, Miriam Juarez-Vargas. Both Miriam and Maria Reina Garcia are presenting cancer prevention and screening at community outreach events, including an event organized by the Mexican Consulate at Hartnell College. We continue enrolling CSVS patients who are due or overdue for preventative screenings in our study.

Baseline findings from the randomized controlled trial at PCC revealed that 41% of the participants (28 of 69) screened positive for food insecurity using the 2-item Hunger Vital Sign, a recommended screening tool to identify families at risk for food insecurity. As a result, we applied for and received an Innovation Grant through the Stanford Cancer Institute. This new funding will allow us to explore effective strategies for addressing food insecurity in Latinx cancer patients and pilot test a medically tailored food intervention among 20 Latinx cancer patients at PCC.

July 22, 2021

The ALCANCE project, funded through the California Initiative to Advance Precision Medicine, launched a randomized controlled trial at our community partner site, Pacific Cancer Care in May 2021. The study will evaluate the efficacy of a community health worker (CHW)-delivered intervention to reduce cancer disparities by improving the knowledge and delivery of evidence-based precision medicine for cancer care. Participants are randomized to either usual care or usual care + supplemental CHW support. Now several months in, 32 patients have enrolled and participated in a baseline survey. Patients in the intervention arm will receive education related to molecular profiling, tumor testing, and precision medicine, assistance with symptom tracking, advance directives, and establishing goals of care with help from CHWs Maria and Jerry.

Meanwhile, at Clinica de Salud del Valle de Salinas, CHWs Maria and Yesica are assisting with COVID-19 vaccination efforts and preparing to begin screening and prevention education for 1000 patients. They will help to identify patients who are due or overdue for preventative screenings and well women visits, help to schedule their appointments, and talk with them about the importance of proactive screenings. English and Spanish language surveys, education, and resources have been developed and are in review along with the study protocol at Stanford’s Institutional Review Board (IRB). We look forward to launching study efforts in August.

Polls at two Community Advisory Board (CAB) meetings this year (February and May 2021) demonstrated that over 90% of the CAB agree or strongly agree that the project will address cancer disparities in Monterey County, and about 90% of the CAB also agree or strongly agree that the project has potential for policy impact beyond Monterey.

The CAB is continuing to collaborate on the creation of a CHW & Community Toolkit that will include recorded training sessions, links to external free training, local and national cancer education and resources, advance directive guides, and sample hiring guides and job descriptions for CHWs. The CAB looks forward to launching the toolkit online once completed. Finally, the team is exploring opportunities for additional funding including several grants to help sustain efforts long-term.

Questions? Contact Emily Wood, ALCANCE Project Manager at ehwood@stanford.edu