Howard-Hopkins Cancer Center Partnership

Funded by the National Cancer Institute

Principal Investigators:
William Nelson, M.D., Ph.D.(Johns Hopkins)
Duane T. Smoot, M.D. (Howard University)

Donald S. Coffey, Ph.D. (Johns Hopkins)
Charles P. Mouton, M.D. (Howard University)

The regions served by the Howard University Cancer Center (HUCC) and Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins (SKCCC), Maryland and the District of Columbia, have had among the highest cancer death rates in the United States for more than fifty years. Minority residents of these regions have been disproportionately affected by cancer, and cancer has become a leading cause of morbidity and mortality for African-Americans in both Baltimore, Maryland, and Washington, DC.

To address this problem, HUCC and SKCCC have embarked on a partnership to increase productive research in screening, diagnosis, prevention, treatment, and supportive care as it relates to cancer, with a special focus on cancer in African-Americans. The successes realized thus far in the HUCC/SKCCC Partnership, with collaborative research progress in cancer biology, genetics, drug discovery, and etiology in prostate, gastrointestinal, and breast cancers.

The major aim of this partnership is to continue the development of a sustainable partnership between HUCC and SKCCC that enhances the research, training, education, and outreach missions of both institutions.

To accomplish this goal, the HUCC/SKCCC Partnership continues to:

  • Work to build the research faculty and scientific programs at HUCC directed at cancer in African-Americans;
  • Enhance population-based cancer studies at SKCCC involving African-Americans;
  • increase opportunities for research training and career development of minority researchers at HUCC; and
  • Improve education and outreach programs at SKCCC focused on cancer morbidity and mortality among the underserved and minority communities.


Women’s Health Initiative (WHI)

Howard University Cancer Center and Medstar Research Institute collaborated on the WHI study. Our site represented 1 of 40 funded WHI sites in the country and 1 of 10 minority sites. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) established the Women's Health Initiative (WHI) in 1991 to address the most common causes of death, disability and impaired quality of life in postmenopausal women. The WHI addressed cardiovascular disease, cancer, and osteoporosis. The WHI was a 15 year multi-million dollar endeavor, and one of the largest U.S. prevention studies of its kind. The three major components of the WHI were:

  • a randomized controlled clinical trial of promising but unproven approaches to prevention;
  • an observational study to identify predictors of disease;
  • a study of community approaches to developing healthful behaviors.

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