The AC3 is a multi-institutional collaborative network that focuses on studies of cancer risk and outcomes among populations of African ancestry.

The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Team Science Award will be given to the African-Caribbean Cancer Consortium (AC3) at the AACR Annual Meeting 2023, which will take place April 14–19 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida.

The AC3 is a multi-institutional collaborative network that focuses on studies of cancer risk and outcomes among populations of African ancestry. The network is led by Camille Ragin, PhD, MPH, Fox Chase Cancer Center’s Associate Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.

“Our AC3 team’s commitment and scientific diversity are what give us impact. We are a multidisciplinary group of basic, translational, and clinical scientists who support initiatives in nations of the African diaspora, according to Ragin, who is also a professor in Fox Chase’s research programme on cancer prevention and control.”

“We have investigators in the United States, the Caribbean, and Africa. We are dedicated to training minority scientists to bring a variety of perspectives and hypotheses to more quickly advance cancer prevention and treatment discoveries.”

In collaboration with Eli Lilly and Company, the AACR offers the Team Science Award. It recognises an outstanding interdisciplinary research team for their contributions to cancer fundamental knowledge or for applying existing knowledge to advance detection, prevention, diagnosis, or treatment.

It is given to a team that is focused on a specific scientific goal that would otherwise be unattainable by any single member of the team.

AC3 is a comprehensive resource for education, training, and research on cancer aetiology, screening, prevention, treatment, and survivorship in African-descent populations. The consortium’s goals are to advance the science of cancer prevention and control in African-descent populations by building knowledge and infrastructure.

The consortium was founded in 2006 in response to Black cancer disparities and under-representation of Blacks in studies and biobanks.

AC3 has since conducted a number of novel research projects, including studies of biomarkers of susceptibility to and outcomes from prostate cancer in men of African ancestry; cervical human papillomavirus (HPV) infections in Black women from the United States, Jamaica, Tobago, Barbados, Guadeloupe, and the Bahamas; and assessments of knowledge, perception, and attitudes towards HPV and the HPV vaccine in the United States and the Caribbean.

The AC3 team has over 150 peer-reviewed science journal publications and several cancer subspecialty working groups.

It is currently conducting a multinational study of African-descent prostate and breast cancer patients in nine Caribbean and African countries, as well as four sites in the United States, for molecular characterization of their tumours to inform therapeutic advancement. “Given the diversity of Black ancestry,” Ragin said, “understanding Black carcinogenesis and outcomes may illuminate and catalyse discovery for all of us.”

“We are both honoured and humbled by this award,” she added. “Team science is the most powerful and effective way for us to advance cancer science.” In this way, we can address the incredible complexity of cancer vulnerabilities and disparities.

This type of award recognises the importance and impact of the AC3’s work in the context of health equity and disparities. That is extremely important.” Ragin will accept the award on behalf of the entire AC3 team on Sunday, April 16, at the AACR Annual Meeting 2023 Opening Ceremony.