June 28, 2023

Persistent Poverty Initiative Announced to Reduce Cancer Inequities

On June 26, The Biden Administration released the Persistent Poverty Initiative, an initiative coordinated by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) that awards $50 million to reduce inequities in the social determinants of health related to cancer and cancer prevention. The goal of the initiative is to alleviate the cumulative effects of persistent poverty on cancer outcomes in parts of the country where, for the past 30 years, 20% or more of the population has lived below the federal poverty line. This will be accomplished by building research capacity, fostering cancer prevention research and promoting the implementation of community-based programs.

Five new Centers for Cancer Control Research in Persistent Poverty Areas are funded through these awards for the next five years. The centers will advance priorities of the Biden Administration's reignited Cancer Moonshot, including the reduction of inequities in the structural drivers of cancer, reducing tobacco use and increasing access to healthy food. The centers, who all work with targeted low-income communities, are:

  • Acres Homes Cancer Prevention Collaboration, led by the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston — will evaluate interventions in physical activity and nutrition to prevent obesity-related cancer.
  • The Center for Cancer control in Persistent Poverty Areas led by the University of Alabama at Birmingham — will evaluate interventions by improving living environments, and diet and exercise interventions for cancer survivors.
  • The Upstream Center, led by Stanford University, Palo Alto — will assess how state programs for guaranteed basic income affect cancer outcomes, as well as colorectal cancer risk related to earned income tax credit promoted healthy behaviors.
  • The Center for Social Capital, led by Weill Cornell Medicine and Columbia University, New York City — will test the effectiveness of cancer education and tobacco cessation in multigenerational health.
  • HOPE & CAIRHE 2gether, led by Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah, Salt Lake City — will test interventions for commercial tobacco cessation and obesity prevention.

The American College of Radiology® (ACR®) continues to monitor developments and progress with the Cancer Moonshot initiative, which aims to decrease cancer deaths by more than 50% in the next 25 years.

For more information, contact Katie Grady, ACR Government Affairs Director.