LSU Health NO, LDH to Create LA Cancer-COVID-19 Registry

The National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health has awarded LSU Health New Orleans Stanley S. Scott Cancer Center a $147,000 supplement to its NCI Community Oncology Research Program (NCORP) grant to create the Louisiana Cancer-COVID-19 Registry with the Louisiana Department of Health.

“Because cancer patients are at increased risk for developing COVID-19 and both cancer and COVID-19 disproportionately affect minority and underserved populations, there is an urgent need to develop a new Louisiana Cancer-COVID-19 Registry to better understand the impact of the current pandemic on cancer patients in the Gulf South Region,” says NCORP principal investigator Augusto Ochoa, MD, director of LSU Health New Orleans Stanley S. Scott Cancer Center.

Healthcare providers are required to report both cancer and COVID-19 diagnoses because these diseases are of such public health importance. LSU Health New Orleans School of Public Health’s Louisiana Tumor Registry will work to link its data on cancer incidence with the Louisiana Department of Health’s COVID-19 Registry.

“The collaboration with Dr. DeAnn Gruber and her team at the Office of Public Health at the Louisiana Department of Health has been outstanding,” said Ochoa. 

Data from the new registry will be used to study the effect of COVID-19 on cancer health disparities in Louisiana and more effectively participate in national clinical studies. The registry will help determine how COVID-19 impacts cancer health disparities in different populations and in rural vs. urban locations.

“The Louisiana Tumor Registry is very enthusiastic about participating in this effort because we believe the Louisiana Cancer-COVID-19 registry will enhance research to better understand the impact of COVID-19 on cancer diagnosis, treatment, and outcome, and to identify corresponding health disparities for actions,” said Xiao Cheng Wu, MD, professor and director of the LSU Health New Orleans Louisiana Tumor Registry, a program in its School of Public Health. “It may also help to determine the location of coronavirus ‘hot spots.’ This project lines up with our vision to reduce suffering and death from cancer in Louisiana.” 

“The LA Cancer-COVID-19 Registry will also better prepare us for a resurgence of COVID-19 or other future pandemics by being able to deploy diagnostic, treatment, or epidemiological trials,” said Ochoa.

The NCORP expanded last year and adopted a new name -- the Gulf South Clinical Trials Network. Partners now include LSU Health New Orleans Stanley S. Scott Cancer Center, LSU Health New Orleans Louisiana Tumor Registry, LSU Health Shreveport Feist Weiller Cancer Center, Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center, and Ochsner Cancer Center. The NCORP provides cancer care and access to clinical trials with an emphasis on minority and underserved cancer patients. Together they partner to oversee a network of 44 clinical sites that have significantly increased enrollment of cancer patients into clinical trials throughout the region.  Approximately 50% of patients enrolled are African American.

LSU Health New Orleans Louisiana Tumor Registry, a program of its School of Public Health, is one of only 19 cancer registries in the country comprising the National Cancer Institute’s Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Program, considered to be the most authoritative voice on cancer in the United States. It is regarded as one of the leading cancer registries in the nation.