Research Overview

Redes En Acción: The National Latino Cancer Research Network has had a long and productive history of research activities in its first 10-year span. We supported 18 (R03-type) pilot projects, which garnered significant experience and more than $99 million in subsequent leveraged funding for the investigators. As a network, we have encouraged and supported our Co-PI's and other Redes researchers to pursue more than 180 independent and special research projects totaling more than $232 million that also have been leveraged for larger, more complex research in health disparities in cancer control and prevention among Hispanics/Latinos (HLs). These studies relied on leadership, mentorship and/or collaboration by Redes Regional Network Center (RNC) investigators, and communities have benefitted through increased awareness about cancer risks and ways to detect cancer at early stages when treatment is less expensive and more likely to succeed or maintain their quality of life. Community-based participatory research (CBPR) methods have been a hallmark of these studies, recognizing that the needs of those impacted, available resources, community capacities, outcome parameters and scientific considerations all have an impact on the dynamic of the blend of CBPR principles applied. The benefits to scientific knowledge on HL cancer control and prevention is equally as broad, as evidenced by our more than 270 Redes-related scientific publications. We also have helped advance the career of new scientists focused on HL cancer health disparities, and many of those now are independent HL researchers.

Pilot Projects

For the current Community Networks Program Centers (CNPC) initiative (2010-2015), Redes En Acción is conducting a pilot study entitled, "Randomized Controlled Trial of Internet Stop Smoking Site for Latinos. This pilot project is being led by Year 1 Redes Scholar, Alinne Barrera, PhD, an HL psychologist from the University of California, San Francisco. Dr. Barrera is completing her post-doctoral fellowship at UCSF and will be working on the English/Spanish Stop Smoking Web site intervention project with her primary mentors, Dr. Eliseo Pérez-Stable, Co-PI for Redes' Northwest Region, and Dr. Ricardo Muñoz. Additional Redes Scholars also will be eligible for Redes pilot research funds in Years 3-5. If we do not have available pilot funds for these scholars, we will work with their home institutions to secure research funding opportunities for them. A major goal of Redes is to develop pilot projects into full, competing grant applications for NIH or other external funding.

During the NCI's Community Networks Program (CNP) initiative (2005-2010), Redes served as a venue for pilot projects focusing on Latino cancer issues. The goals of the CNP pilot project studies were to involve: 1) partnerships of community-based and research organizations in community-based participatory research to reduce disparities; 2) provide preliminary data and results for future research projects; and 3) promote the research experience for researchers involved in minority and underserved populations. In addition to relevance to priority topics and to the Latino population, criteria for pilot projects included originality, feasibility, scientific merit and likelihood that the project can be developed into a larger investigation. Two Redes pilot projects were successfully awarded funding during the CNP initiative.

During the Redes Special Populations Network (SPN) initiative (2000-2005), a total of 16 Redes En Acción pilot projects were awarded funding, opening the door for new Latino-oriented cancer research (see following table). Of the 29 proposals that emerged from the Redes En Acción review process and were forwarded to the NCI, the 16 approved for funding gave the program a strong 55 percent success rate. The majority of these new studies were community-based research projects, conducted in Redes En Acción regions across the United States. As part of the research experience, the Redes En Acción pilot research program provided unique networking and cancer research career opportunities for junior researchers. The program allowed these researchers to work closely with experienced Latino investigators, offering mentorship to enhance their research skills and knowledge of cancer prevention and control among Hispanic/Latino populations. The table below provides a summary of Redes pilot projects during the 2000-2005 funding cycle:

Summary of Redes En Acción SPN Pilot Projects Submitted by Year/Cycle
Year (date of submission) Proposals Reviewed by Redes En Acción Proposals Forwarded to NCI for Review Proposals Funded by NCI
Y1 (4/1/01) 5 5 1
Y2 (12/1/01) 11 2 2
Y2 (4/1/02) 6 3 2
Y3 (10/02) 6 5 4
Y3 (04/03) 9 4 2
Y4 (10/03) 17 10 5
Totals 4 29 16


To date, Redes pilot investigators have successfully leveraged the results from their pilot studies into larger investigations totaling more than $99 million in competing grant proposals awarded from the NIH and other funding sources.

Other Research Activities

To learn more about the current research studies that Redes principal investigator and director for the Institute for Health Promotion Research (IHPR) at the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio is conducting in assessment, experimental and policy/dissemination, go to the IHPR's Web site.