Oklahoma Researcher Aims to Promote Cancer Prevention in Southeast Asia

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Oklahoma Researcher Aims to Promote Cancer Prevention in Southeast Asia

Thanh C. Bui, MD, DrPH, a researcher at the TSET Health Promotion Research Center (HPRC) at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center is setting his sights on improving health outcomes in Southeast Asia. His $3.6 million grant from the US National Cancer Institute (NCI) is the latest development in his continued efforts to effect positive global change.

Bui's research focuses on behavioral interventions for cancer control and prevention in high-risk populations, such as improving the uptake of immunizations against oncogenic viruses and tobacco cessation. Bui has extensive experience working with vulnerable high-risk populations, such as those living with HIV/AIDS, sex workers and individuals with low socioeconomic status. This experience, coupled with his strong partnerships with senior researchers and governmental officials in Southeast Asia, helped solidify multiple grants from NCI to support his goal of improving health outcomes in developing countries.

Bui recently received a $3.6 million award from US NCI for his five-year study, Ending Tobacco Use through Interactive Tailored Messaging for Cambodian People Living with HIV/AIDS (EndIT). The study aims to evaluate the efficacy and cost-effectiveness of a fully automated, interactive smartphone-delivered smoking cessation intervention for adults with HIV in Cambodia. This project will involve a collaborative partnership among researchers at OU Health Stephenson Cancer Center, Moffitt Cancer Center, the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and three Cambodian national government agencies. These agencies are comprehensively responsible for HIV/AIDS control and care in Cambodia. The study has the potential to transform HIV care delivery, and to significantly reduce cancer-related morbidity and mortality in this population.

In 2020, Bui was awarded a $1.1 million, five-year grant from US NCI to use a similar mHealth-based smoking cessation intervention to help people quit smoking cigarettes in Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Lao PDR). More recently, Bui received an US NCI administrative supplement award to conduct an additional study aiming to expand his mHealth-based smoking cessation intervention to cancer survivors and their caregivers within Lao PDR.

“We are excited to see Dr. Bui’s innovative global tobacco control research program grow and receive support from the National Institutes of Health. His cancer prevention work increases the reach and impact of our center throughout Oklahoma and beyond.” says Dr. Darla Kendzor, Co-Director of the TSET HPRC.

The HPRC receives funding from the OU Health Stephenson Cancer Center via a NCI Cancer Center Support Grant (P30CA225520) and Oklahoma Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust contract number R21-02.