|March 14, 2013
Focus group volunteers sought for cancer and genetics research project
MISSOULA — The University of Montana School of Pharmacy and the Montana Cancer Institute Foundation in conjunction with the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes Tribal Health and Human Services Department are seeking members of the Salish, Pend d’Oreille and Kootenai Tribes to volunteer to participate in focus group discussions about personalized medicine related to cancer research and genetics.
The UM, MCIF and THHS are working on a pharmacogenetics research project studying how genetic makeup might influence how American Indians respond to cancer treatments.
The Tribal Council has taken numerous actions since green lighting the project in 2007. Three weeks ago the Tribal Council voted unanimously to pursue the second phase of the project that, among other things, includes the recruitment of tribal member volunteers to participate in the focus group portion of the research. The volunteers will be asked about their perceptions of the genetic-based cancer research.
This is the first ever research of its kind to include American Indians, in this case members of the Salish, Pend d’Oreille and Kootenai Tribes. In the first phase of the research project nearly 400 tribal members, among other things, gave blood samples that were the foundation of two professional papers. The researches used 200 of the samples as the base of the study. The Tribal Council gave their okay to publish the papers in professional health journals three weeks ago.
• Focus group volunteers must be at least 18 years old, and are required to read and sign consent forms.
• The volunteers will be assigned a color in place of their name to ensure confidentiality.
• The sessions will last approximately two hours.
• Researchers will audio record the focus group sessions as well as take notes.
• Volunteers will receive $25 for participation.
• Refreshments will be provided.
• Once the desired numbers of volunteers are on board the focus group sessions will be held in THHS clinics throughout the Flathead Indian Reservation.
For more information or to participate, contact Dr. Erica Woodahl at 647-0577.