(Societal, Ancestry, Molecular and Biological Analyses of Inequalities)

CHALLENGE: Cancer inequities
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Team SAMBAI aims to create an unprecedented resource to define the factors that cause and influence disparate outcomes in diverse underserved populations. 

Team Lead
Melissa Davis (Morehouse School of Medicine)
Ghana, South Africa, US, UK

The idea

SAMBAI aims to build an unprecedented resource – the SAMBAI Biobank and Data Repository for Cancer Equity Research – focused on breast, prostate and pancreatic cancer in people of African descent.   

The team hopes to generate a comprehensive, accurate and relevant measurement of social, environmental, genetic and immunological factors that can be used to define the factors that cause and influence disparate outcomes in diverse underserved populations.   

To do this, the team will employ a variety of methods including self-reporting surveys, database abstractions, mass spectrometry to analyse the exposome (patient exposures), sequencing of germline and tumour tissue, immune profiling and computational and artificial intelligence-based analysis frameworks. Its aim is to deliver a data repository with 100,000 features per patient with scoping resolution for 40,000 patients.  

Bringing together experts in cancer genomics, immunology, epidemiology and exposomics from across the US, Africa and the UK with combined expertise in breast, prostate and pancreatic cancers, the team envisions that its approach will allow for the clarification of critical cancer inequalities research questions and provide unparalleled international datasets for testing hypotheses to produce global action to overcome cancer inequities. 

"This unprecedented opportunity brings the unwavering support of major academic centres in partnership with minority-serving institutions, which will inherently provide a synergistic push in cancer disparities and equity research. By aiding with capacity-building, we will be solving the issues while we study the issues and that has been the greatest challenge in cancer inequities."