Studies and Projects

Pancreas SPORE
Description: The goal of the Pancreas SPORE at Washington University School of Medicine is to increase pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) patient survival through interdisciplinary translation research and collaboration. Dr. Drake works with the Administrative Core to provide executive oversight and administrative support for all of the Pancreatic Cancer SPORE projects and cores. She is also in charge of minority recruitment for clinical trials and enhancing participation of underrepresented minorities in all SPORE activities.
Funding Agency: NCI
Roles: Administrative Core Co-Investigator

Prostate Cancer Biospecimen Cohort Study
Description: Our Prostate Cancer Biorepository Network (PCBN) resource site (1 of 5 institutions) aims to contribute biospecimens from prostate cancer patients on active surveillance (men with low risk disease) and prostate cancer patients with high risk disease.  Within these populations, the study team will target African-American prostate cancer patients.  Increasing the number of African-American men present in our biorepository will strengthen the generalizability of results obtained from the use of biospecimens from our PCBN site. In addition, new discoveries may be made from genetic analyses conducted on the specimens from our PCBN site. The added benefits of our long-term follow-up, comprehensive medical, and survey data on diet and social factors of the participant will allow researchers to explore the effects of genes and the environment on prostate cancer recurrence and mortality.  
Funding Agency: DOD
Role: PI

Effect of diabetes and obesity on disparities in prostate cancer outcomes
Description: In this proposal, we will utilize a prostate cancer cohort from the VA hospitals to explore the association between obesity (at prostate cancer diagnosis and during follow-up) and prostate cancer recurrence; type II diabetes (at prostate cancer diagnosis and during follow-up) and prostate cancer recurrence; as well as the combined effect of obesity and type II diabetes on the risk of prostate cancer recurrence.  Identifying the extent to which type II diabetes in the presence of obesity alters prostate cancer recurrence presents the opportunity for tailored prevention and disease management for all three chronic diseases.
Funding Agency: DOD
Role: PI

Specialized Program Of Research Excellence (SPORE) in Leukemia

The goal of the Washington University SPORE in Leukemia is to develop novel biomarkers and treatments for leukemias and myelodysplastic syndromes and to recruit and promote innovative translational leukemia research. The Leukemia Developmental Research Program's goal is to recruit and support developmental research projects in leukemia for future peer-reviewed funding and/or future independent SPORE projects.
Funding Agency: NCI
Role: Co-I; Developmental Research Program

Program for the Elimination of Cancer Disparities (PECaD)
Description: The goals of this project are to create a national model for eliminating disparities in cancer through community-based partnerships and community-based participatory research (CBPR); to increase access by breaking down barriers to quality cancer care; and to be a catalyst for change in our region by fostering healthy communities. The program includes a leadership core, community outreach component, full and pilot research projects, and a training program. 
Funding agency: NCI
Roles: Evaluation Lead; Leadership Core; Co-Leader Prostate Cancer Community Partnership 

Prostate Cancer Prospective Cohort

Description: Our long-term goal is to be able to identify patients with increased risk for dying of prostate cancer while they are still treatable.  The objective of this project is to maintain a biorepository (collection of prostate tissue, DNA and serum) and environmental data (i.e. diet, smoking, and exercise data) from patients with newly diagnosed, untreated prostate carcinoma.  This proposal is based on the hypothesis that biological and environmental data can be used to predict risk of failure to respond to treatment.  This study collects serum, tumor tissue, DNA, and questionnaire data as a resource for future studies assessing biologic correlates of metastatic disease.
Funding Agency: The St. Louis Mens Group Against Cancer
Role: PI