For release: October 24, 2013
For press information, contact Gabrielle Maxey, 901/678-2843
The School of Public Health (SPH) at the University of Memphis has received a five-year,
$2.86 million grant from the National Cancer Institute to conduct a research study
in collaboration with Baptist Cancer Center and other Mid-South healthcare institutions
to improve the quality of surgical and pathologic staging of surgically resected lung
The principal investigator is Dr. Ray Osarogiagbon, research professor at the SPH,
director of the Thoracic Oncology Research Group and co-director of the Multidisciplinary
Thoracic Oncology Program at Baptist Cancer Center.
Approximately 230,000 adults are diagnosed with lung cancer in the U.S. each year,
and 60,000 patients undergo surgery to treat the disease. Accurate staging of lung
cancer through lymph node examination is critical to determining prognosis after surgery,
and vital for post-surgical treatment decision-making. The purpose of the research
grant is to study the dissemination of an innovative lymph node specimen collection
kit that has shown great promise in preliminary studies to improve the thoroughness
and accuracy of pathological examination of lymph node specimens.
The project will test the implementation of the new technology at up to 16 hospitals
in Tennessee, Mississippi and Arkansas. Dr. Lisa Klesges, dean of the School of Public
Health and professor of Epidemiology, and Dr. Xinhua Yu, an assistant professor of
Epidemiology, are co-investigators for the study. “We are pleased to be in partnership
with Baptist Cancer Center to help lead this important research to improve the diagnosis
and treatment of lung cancer in our region. It fits well with our mission to support
significant long-term improvements in our community’s health outcomes,” says Klesges.
The School of Public Health and Baptist Cancer Center also are partners in a $2.1
million grant from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute. The award will
be used to study the effectiveness of a multidisciplinary model of care for lung cancer
patients. This “one stop shop” approach theoretically can ensure high-quality, objective,
evidence-based care. Osarogiagbon is principal investigator of the study.
Established in 2009, the School of Public Health is dedicated to excellence in education, research and outreach
to promote good health for all citizens by generating knowledge and implementing research
discoveries in our community, our state and throughout the world. The School offers students master’s degree programs in public health and health administration. Additionally, the School offers doctoral degree programs in Social and Behavioral Sciences and in Epidemiology. SPH values strong collaborations
with local, national and international partners that enrich our teaching, support
research projects and offer opportunities for graduate placements and research experience.