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UNC TREND is designed to promote translational, laboratory, population, and clinical research to reduce cancer disparities in African American women with endometrial cancer.

UNC TREND Joint Leadership

Victoria Bae-Jump, MD, PhD
Professor, Gynecologic Oncology, UNC-Chapel Hill

Tope Keku, PhD
Professor, Gastroenterology, UNC-Chapel Hill

Andrew Olshan, PhD
Barbara S. Hulka Distinguished Professor, Epidemiology, UNC-Chapel Hill


Project 1: Molecular and Epidemiologic Heterogeneity and Disparities in Endometrial Cancer Outcomes

  • Conduct a prospective population-based study across the state of NC that will use a comprehensive approach to integrate tumor biology, socioeconomic and other risk factors as contributors to worse outcomes in Non-Hispanic Black endometrial cancer patients.
  • Compare the prevalence of known prognostic subtypes between Non-Hispanic Black and Non-Hispanic White patients that will include the largest number of endometrial cancers from Non-Hispanic Black women to date.
  • Conduct a follow-up of the endometrial cancer cohort patients and perform preliminary multivariable analyses to identify Non-Hispanic Black and Non-Hispanic White differences in clinical/pathological characteristics, molecular subtypes, access to care, treatment and recurrence-free survival.

More about Project 1

Project 2: Impact of Race and the Microbiome on the Progression and Treatment of Endometrial Cancer

  • Delineate for the first time the malignant uterine and gut microbiota of obese Non-Hispanic Black vs Non-Hispanic White patients as they undergo hysterectomy and, for Stage III/IV, standard-of-care paclitaxel/carboplatin treatment, and correlate this with endometrial cancer molecular subtype and therapeutic response.
  • Develop and use racially diverse, molecularly characterized patient-derived xenograft models from both Non-Hispanic Black and Non-Hispanic White women to explore the inter-relationship of race, molecular subtype, and the uterine/gut microbiome on endometrial cancer pathogenesis.

More about Project 2


UNC TREND Strengths

  • Strong team of interdisciplinary researchers spanning basic science, population science, clinical and translational research.
  • History of highly successful collaborative research.
  • Geographically and racially-diverse communities in NC.
  • History of population-based epidemiologic studies including follow-up and molecular components.
  • Long-standing leadership in The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) Project.
  • Cutting-edge scientific approaches:
    • Racially diverse patient-derived xenograft models of endometrial cancer.
    • Parallel microbiome studies in mice and women.
  • Strong institutional support from UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center:
    • Launch of the Carolina Endometrial Cancer Study – opened in September 2020.
    • $1.99 million over 5 years commitment from UNC Lineberger.
  • History of training and development of the next generation of translational disciplinary scientists.