Sunday, March 3, 2013

INCREASING NEED OF A TISSUE BANK IN EL PASO.

With the increased need for cancer genetic studies, there is an increasing need of a Tissue bank in El Paso.
This town is at the border with Mexico has somewhat of an homogeneous population of a minority population which is most of the time under-represented in most clinical trials.  Here, 80% of the population is Hispanic, therefore increasing the chance to have a nice homogenous cohort for clinical trials in a minority population.  We have completed a study on risk factors for Breast cancer as perceived by the local population.  Full Analysis is awaiting funding.  Data is still sitting in the office while we are busy seeing and helping patients to survive.  A recent Collaboration with the UTEP (University of Texas in El Paso) statistics laboratory will relaunch this and maybe we will then be able to publish the full study.
Risk perception here is very much influenced by the local culture and practices centered on "family" and "religion".
The UTEP Border Biomedical Research Center has a clean cell line maintained, but they want to do more.  But we are here in a low income city and easily ignored.  President Obama stopped by last year and the city voted for him, but nothing else has happened much since.  CPRIT gave 0.2% of its cancer research funding to the 4th largest City in Texas, EL PASO, a city of 800,000 people! That is all we get: a glance from Authorities!  El Paso is largely ignored.  El Paso Women had to organize a sit-out in protest in front of the White House last year.  They were basically ignored and dismissed with political promises that have never materialized.

We need a Tissue bank here in El Paso, everybody knows it, but brushes it off!

The city is home to Fort Bliss, undoubtedly the largest military base receiving most likely the largest portion of returning soldiers.  But the medical facilities here are rather modest, fraught with financial issues and a hesitant medical leadership!  Even the needed new Beaumont Hospital construction is tied up in court with contractors fighting over the opportunities instead of being built!

We need a tissue bank, if you know any one who can help....! call 915-307-3354
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