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STRIDES Research Team Meets in Bethesda to Review Progress, Plan Next Steps

, by Jennifer K. Loukissas, M.P.P.

photograph of a group of people standing outside

Left to right: Jimmie Wells, Nicolas Wentzensen, Megan Clarke, Mary Stewart, Tina Ferrell, Katie Hall, and Sydney Reaves 

A team of nurses, data analysts, and experts in health promotion from Mississippi visited the NCI last week—the first in-person meeting of the STRIDES study team in three years. STRIDES: Studying Risk and Improving Disparities of Cervical Cancer in Mississippi is led by Megan Clarke, Ph.D., M.H.S., Earl Stadtman investigator in the Clinical Genetics Branch (CGB), and Dr. Carolann Risley at the University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMMC) and other collaborators at UMMC and the Mississippi State Department of Health. 

The team from Mississippi included Drs. Risley, principal investigator at UMMC, Mary Stewart, Katie Hall, Tina Ferrell, Ms. Sydney Reaves, and Ms. Jimmie Wells. They presented data from their two-year project evaluating loss to diagnostic follow-up among patients with abnormal screening results in the STRIDES study.

STRIDES is a multidisciplinary effort, involving patient navigation, qualitative and quantitative methods, electronic medical record review, and geographic information sensing approaches. The study is a component of the Moonshot-funded project “Accelerated Control of Cervical Cancer,” which is co-led by Nicolas Wentzensen, M.D., Ph.D., M.S., senior investigator in CGB and part of the STRIDES study team.

photograph of women

Carolann Risley, Katie Hall, Mary Stewart, Tina Ferrell, Jimmie Wells, and Sydney Reaves at the NIH History Exhibit on the main campus.

Dr. Clarke engaged community leaders to inform the development of the study; connecting Maryland-based NCI researchers with local experts in Mississippi has resulted in a fruitful collaboration.

Together, the team is evaluating risk of cervical precancer and studying novel biomarkers in a racially diverse and underserved population of women and transgender men aged 21 years and older undergoing cervical cancer screening. Data from STRIDES are being incorporated into the Enduring Consensus Cervical Cancer Screening and Management Guidelines.

The collaborators in Mississippi are working on system-level programs—such as the MITRE project, led by Dr. Risley—to integrate 2019 ASCCP Risk-Based Management Consensus Guidelines into electronic medical record (EMR) systems and to accelerate the adoption of EMR in health departments across the state.