Policies to improve assessment of inherited cancer risk

Project: Research project

Project Details


Policies to improve assessment of inherited cancer risk Policies to improve assessment of inherited cancer risk For the past three years, bioethics researchers from Arizona State University and Baylor College of Medicine have been studying challenges in using new genomic technologies to improve the prevention and management of cancer. The centerpiece is genetic testing for DNA changes associated with cancer risk, and the flow of information needed to interpret such tests. The focus was chosen because the clinical stakes are high, organized constituencies are sophisticated about policy and can aid in system design, and molecular oncology is one of the areas where the wave is breaking ashore for precision medicine and powerful new genomic technologies. Molecular oncology is a harbinger for precision medicine more generally. The process has entailed a multi-stakeholder expert panel engaged in an iterative, modified policy Delphi process, augmented by case studies, legal analysis, and interviews with experts and people whose lives are affected by use of genomic technologies (or failure to use them). The purpose of the research is to inform policy. The empirical phase of the project is winding down, and the team is turning now to getting its findings into the hands of those who can make policy change in a form they can use on a schedule that meets their needs. The team is experienced in policy research, policy translation, and engagement with those making policy decisions. Aim 4 of our National Cancer Institute grant (R01 CA237118 [link]) is policy translation and engagement. We are prepared to carry out this aim within constraints of the existing grant. Yet as we enter the final year of our work, we are keenly aware of how much we could benefit from augmenting our research in bioethics by working with Burness Communications, dramatically increasing our impact while broadening our media strategy and enriching our online presence. The Greenwall call for proposals for bridging bioethics research to policy seems truly a timely godsend, an opportunity to greatly increase the impact and effectiveness of our work. Our proposal is to use Greenwall funds to directly engage Burness Communications in crafting and implementing a communications and policy engagement strategy to turn our empirical findings into a form, on a schedule, and through channels that make it much more likely to be actually incorporated into policy. Our proposal includes a two-page appendix in which Burness describes how their team will help us in three respects: (1) broadening our media network, with an emphasis on identifying topics and media placements for OpEds, blogs, and short, pithy, policy-oriented presentations of core messages relevant to policy choices; (2) identifying targets in Congress, agencies, nongovernment organizations, and state governments and critiquing materials prepared by our team to address those policy audiences; and (3) critiquing and helping design a strong and more useful online presence, including our website as well as existing online channels. The basic idea is that our team will supply the content; Burness will help us target audiences, organize briefings, and critique our outputs with an eye to making them concise, persuasive, and useful to those facing policy choices.
Effective start/end date11/1/2210/31/23


  • Greenwall Foundation, The: $50,000.00


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