Cancer Prevention and Control Research Program


The Cancer Prevention and Control (CPC) research program in PHS includes PHS faculty whose primary responsibilities and work are within the Cancer Center. Their research, in conjunction with other SOM and University faculty, is focused on identifying cancer risk, improving early detection of cancer, and modifying cancer risk through lifestyle and systems level interventions.  Three cross-cutting aims of the Program include: 1) Rural and poverty-linked cancer disparities with a particular focus on the rural Appalachian region of Southwest Virginia and neighboring West Virginia. 2) women’s health and access to recommended preventive services important in the fight against breast and cervical cancer. 3) Interventions in healthcare systems, such as primary care practices, to improve the reach and effectiveness of evidence based cancer prevention, with a focus on colorectal cancer as a high priority disparity.  The CPC program is comprised of a transdisciplinary team of investigators dedicated to solving critical public health issues both regionally and in the nation through collaboration. CPC investigators have decades of experience working with community and public health stakeholders to conduct and disseminate scientific research for optimal impact.

Currently Funded Research Grants

Currently funded research grants within the CPC Program include reducing cervical cancer mortality in Appalachia though better access to smoking cessation, HPV vaccination uptake and HPV self-testing; applying organizational theory to examine the policies and practices of mammography centers in rural Appalachia and their impact on access to screening; testing and refining behavioral interventions to reduce the consumption of sugary sweetened beverages in rural and disadvantaged children and their families; developing capacity in rural and underserved communities for colorectal cancer screening and dissemination, re-engineering how smoking cessation services are delivered to cancer patients using principles of intervention mapping; developing and testing new patient assessment instruments for treatment burden and care coordination; and describing the impact of health insurance change under the Affordable Care Act on access to cancer screening and well visits in rural population in the US. The CPC also has an active pipeline of research, moving from planning to submission, focused on implementation of cancer screening in primary care settings; adapting smoking cessation programs to offer low-barrier access and support in high-smoking communities; reducing opioid use among cancer patients using stepped care policies; improving medication adherence to endocrine therapies among women treated for ER/PR positive breast cancer; and improving access to optimal prostate cancer care in disadvantaged populations.