Guillermina Solis, Ph.D., assistant professor of nursing at The University of Texas at El Paso, will serve as the El Paso region’s principle investigator on a national multisite study called, “Coping with Cancer III.”
Led by Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City, the study is funded by the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD). Other sites include New York, Chicago, Florida and Dallas.
Solis will collaborate with Javier C. Corral, M.D., division chief of hematology and assistant professor of internal medicine at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso.
They will recruit patients, their informal caregivers, and their oncologists for a study to identify beliefs and practices among Latinos that significantly contribute to advance care planning and end-of-life care.
The goal is to gain a better understanding of Latino versus non-Latino disparities in making treatment decisions upon the progress of the disease.
Researchers will look at how Latinos and non-Latinos differ in oncology care, religious and familial beliefs that are related to cancer care in comparison to other ethnic groups, and how those differences contribute to care received.
According to Solis, Latino patients with advanced cancer are more likely to receive aggressive treatment at the end of their lives, which may lead to prolonged suffering and higher health care costs than non-Latino cancer patients.
The data will help determine potential interventions to lessen existing ethnic disparities in advance care planning and end-of-life care in Latino patients, caregivers and oncology professionals.
“The uniqueness of this study is that we will gain the perspective on end-of-life and advance care planning from a comprehensive group involved in the decision-making process that includes patients, caregivers and oncology providers,” Solis said.
Study participants must be 21 or older with certain types of cancer and receiving medical treatment. They must have an adult non-paid caregiver and an oncology provider who are willing to participate in the study.
Coping with Cancer III is a longitudinal cohort study of advanced cancer patients and their oncologists led by principle investigators Holly Prigerson, Ph.D., and Paul Maciejewski, Ph.D., co-directors of the Center for Research on End-of-Life Care at Weill Cornell Medicine.
For more information, contact Guillermina Solis at firstname.lastname@example.org.