SKCC Researchers Receive NCI Funding to Study Local Philadelphia Population


Philadelphia skylineResearchers at the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center – Jefferson Health (SKCC) recently received funding from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to embark on a year-long study to better understand the cancer prevention and risk behaviors of people who live in the five counties surrounding the cancer center.

A partnership with the Public Health Management Company (PHMC), a local health agency in Philadelphia, will allow the research team, led by Grace Lu-Yao, PhD, Associate Director of Population Science, and Amy Leader, PhD, Associate Professor of Medical Oncology, Division of Population Science, to survey 1,500 people who live in Philadelphia, Bucks, Montgomery, Camden, and Gloucester Counties.

Each person who is randomly selected to be interviewed will be asked questions about their understanding of cancer, their thoughts about preventing it, any screening tests they have had in the past, and how they look for and find information about cancer. Additional questions about participating in a clinical trial and getting a genetic test for cancer risk assessment will also be included. The researchers hope to capture the voices of a wide range of the population and will pay specific attention to including members of the LGBT community, as well as those who are African American and Hispanic.

Data from this study will be extremely important in helping SKCC researchers better understand the population living in the surrounding area so that cancer screening and support services can be tailored to the lives and experiences of these individuals. Analytic mapping techniques will allow the team to look at the data in a new way: visually, on a map, to locate gaps in services and knowledge. The research will support the SKCC’s multi-pronged strategies for improving cancer prevention, screening, and treatment, as well as lead to new collaborations between the SKCC and the people in the Greater Philadelphia area.

For more information about the study, contact Dr. Amy Leader at