The ACCN is the fourth generation of NCI-funded projects regarding cancer in Appalachia.
The Appalachia Leadership Initiative on Cancer (Dr. Gilbert H. Friedell, PI; 1992-2000) developed community-based coalitions to improve cancer awareness and control in Appalachia. Investigators with ALIC worked with regional community leaders to identify issues, provide information, and develop outreach activities.
The Appalachia Cancer Network (Dr. Stephen Wyatt, PI; 2000-2005) was established to build on findings in the ALIC project and address critical cancer control issues that impact the rural, medically underserved populations of Appalachia. The ACN focused on barriers to participation in clinical trials, and developed community-based coalitions to improve cancer awareness and control in Appalachia.
The Appalachia Community Cancer Network (Dr. Mark Dignan, PI; 2005-2010) continued and expanded the work of the ACN to include community-based participatory research, education, and training activities to reduce cancer health disparities in the region, with particular focus on colorectal, cervical, and lung cancers, three cancers with elevated incidence/mortality rates in the region.
The current project, also known as the Appalachia Community Cancer Network (Dr. Mark Dignan, PI; 2010-2015) continues the work of the previous ACCN through four core program areas: an Administrative Core, a Research Program, a Community Outreach Program, and a Training Program. These ACCN Cores/Programs work together with the goal of reducing cancer health disparities in the region. The current ACCN has also expanded its focus on cervical, colorectal and lung cancers to also address cancer risk factors such as physical inactivity and obesity through a region-wide research project. ACCN is also working to incorporate new topic areas such as clinical trials and biospecimens into project community education and outreach activities.