Marvella E Ford

Marvella E Ford
Medical University of South Carolina | MUSC · Department of Public Health Sciences

PhD

About

174
Publications
12,226
Reads
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3,016
Citations
Citations since 2017
64 Research Items
1453 Citations
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Introduction
Marvella Ford, PhD is a Professor in the Department of Public Health Sciences at the Medical University of South Carolina, where she is the Associate Director of Population Sciences and Cancer Disparities at the NCI-designated Hollings Cancer Center. Marvella conducts research on the recruitment and retention of diverse populations in cancer research. She has expertise in health behavior intervention design, implementation, and evaluation, and leads several cancer research training grants.
Additional affiliations
May 2005 - present
Medical University of South Carolina
Position
  • Professor and Associate Director, Cancer Disparities

Publications

Publications (174)
Article
Full-text available
Background and Objectives: Genomic information is increasingly relevant for disease prevention and risk management at the individual and population levels. Screening healthy adults for Tier 1 conditions of hereditary breast and ovarian cancer, Lynch syndrome, and familial hypercholesterolemia using a population-based approach can help identify the...
Article
This paper presents reflections on mentorship from scientists and mentors of the National Institute on Aging (NIA)-funded Carolina Center on Alzheimer's Disease and Minority Research (CCADMR). Using a network approach to mentoring, this program aims to increase the pipeline of underrepresented minority (URM) scientists studying Alzheimer's disease...
Article
Full-text available
Background: In 2021, the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) partnered with Helix, a population genetic testing company, to offer population-wide genomic screening for Centers for Disease Control and Preventions' Tier 1 conditions of hereditary breast and ovarian cancer, Lynch syndrome, and familial hypercholesterolemia to 100,000 individu...
Article
Objective: We aim to investigate the impact of neighborhood-level social vulnerability on otolaryngology care for children with obstructive sleep-disordered breathing (SDB). Study design: Retrospective cohort study. Setting: A tertiary children's hospital. Methods: Children aged 2 to 17 years with SDB were included. Residential addresses wer...
Article
Breast cancer is a leading cause of death among women. Among race/ethnicities, black women have similar incidence rates but higher mortality than other races/ethnicities. Black women are diagnosed at a younger age with higher stages, grades and higher rates of lethal triple negative breast cancer. Genetic ancestry, especially West African sub-Sahar...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
BACKGROUND: The annual National Conference on Health Disparities (NCHD) was launched in 2000. It unites health professionals, researchers, community leaders, and government officials, and is a catalyzing force in developing policies, research interventions, and programs that address prevention, social determinants, health disparities, and health eq...
Conference Paper
BACKGROUND: The South Carolina Cancer Disparities Research Center (SC CADRE) U54 conducted the Culturally-Sensitive, State-of-the-Art Treatment to Eliminate Cancer Disparities Conference in February of 2021. This virtual live webinar was a cancer-disparities-focused Continuing Medical Education (CME) Conference, held for health professionals and co...
Article
Objective To examine the impact of race/ethnicity on timing and postoperative outcomes of primary cleft lip (CL) and cleft palate (CP) repair. Design Cross-sectional analysis of the National Surgical Quality Improvement Program Pediatric (NSQIP-P) database from 2013 to 2018. Patients and main outcome measures Patients under 2 years of age who und...
Article
Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias (ADRD) are at the forefront of the United States (US) public health agenda, with a disproportionate impact on racial/ethnic minorities. Aging scholars have called for prioritizing ADRD disparities research and addressing the systems that promote research as essential to achieving equity in healthy aging sch...
Article
Full-text available
The annual National Conference on Health Disparities (NCHD) was launched in 2000. It unites health professionals, researchers, community leaders, and government officials, and is a catalyzing force in developing policies, research interventions, and programs that address prevention, social determinants, health disparities, and health equity. The NC...
Article
Full-text available
While extensive literature exists on barriers and strategies to increase minority participation in clinical trials, progress is limited. Few strategies were evaluated in randomized trials. We studied the impact of RECRUIT, a trust-based, cluster randomized minority recruitment trial layered on top of four traditional NIH-funded parent trials (BMT C...
Article
Full-text available
Alzheimer's disease and related dementias (ADRD) are at the forefront of the United States (US) public health agenda due to their tremendous human and financial burden. Further, disproportionately high ADRD rates among racial/ethnic minorities require incorporating the unique perspectives of racially and ethnically diverse scientists, which will ne...
Article
Objective: To assess the impact of rural-urban residence on children with obstructive sleep-disordered breathing (SDB) who were candidates for tonsillectomy with or without adenoidectomy (TA). Study design: Retrospective cohort study. Setting: Tertiary children's hospital. Methods: A cohort of otherwise healthy children aged 2 to 18 years wi...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Disparities in colon cancer (CC) outcomes may be due to a more aggressive phenotype in African American patients in the setting of a decreased tumor immunity, though the precise mechanism for this result has not been well elucidated. To explore the molecular factors underlying CC disparities, we compared the immunogenomic signatures of...
Article
Full-text available
Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination prevents 6 HPV-related cancers in men and women. Yet, rates of HPV vaccination among adolescents in the United States lag behind other developed nations, revealing a significant public health issue. This feasibility study tested a collaborative online learning environment to cultivate HPV vaccination champions...
Conference Paper
Advanced glycation end products (AGEs) are reactive sugar metabolites that our research has shown can increase cancer severity. AGEs are formed endogenously via a slow, nonenzymic reaction. However, high AGE levels associate with the same socioeconomic and environmental factors that contribute to cancer health disparity. Lack of exercise and modern...
Article
Background: There are well-documented disparities in lung cancer outcomes across populations. Lung cancer screening (LCS) has the potential to reduce lung cancer mortality, but for this benefit to be realized by all high-risk groups, there must be careful attention to ensuring equitable access to this lifesaving preventive health measure. Objective...
Article
Objective: To determine the impact of race and ethnicity on 30-day complications following pediatric endoscopic sinus surgery (ESS). Study design: Cross-sectional cohort study. Subjects and methods: Patients ≤ 18 years of age undergoing ESS from 2015 to 2017 were identified in the Pediatric National Surgical Improvement Program-Pediatric datab...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background: Disparities in colorectal cancer outcomes may be due to a more aggressive phenotype in African American patients in the setting of a decreased tumor immunity, though the precise mechanism for this result has not been well elucidated. To explore the molecular factors underlying colorectal cancer disparities, we compared the immunogenomic...
Article
Full-text available
Objectives The literature regarding the role of advanced glycation end products (AGEs) on tumor biology has shown only moderate promise reflected by increases in cell growth, migration and invasion in vitro which is not supported by increased tumor growth in vivo14-16– A caveat to these studies is that they are centered upon a single AGE peptide an...
Article
Full-text available
Objectives Lifestyle factors such as a sedentary lifestyle, obesity and a diet consisting of foods high in protein, fat, and highly processed foods contribute to the accumulation of advanced glycation end products (AGEs). AGE pathogenic effects are mediated through modification of protein function, genetic fidelity, stress responses, and cellular s...
Conference Paper
Advanced glycation end products (AGEs) are highly reactive metabolites that irreversibly accumulate in tissues as we grow older. Accumulation of AGEs in the body can contribute to proinflammatory and pro-oxidant phenotypes when signaling through the receptor for advanced glycation end products (RAGE).The pathogenic effects of AGE-RAGE signaling inc...
Conference Paper
Lifestyle factors associated with personal behavior can alter tumor-associated biologic pathways and thereby increase cancer risk, growth and disease recurrence. Advanced glycation end products (AGEs) are reactive metabolites produced endogenously as a byproduct of normal metabolism. A Western lifestyle consisting of high-fat, high-sugar and proces...
Conference Paper
Background: Enrollment of early-stage lung cancer patients to randomized trials has historically been challenging. The STARS Trial enrolled 36 of 1,030 intended patients from 28 sites, while the ROSEL Trial recruited 22 of 960 intended patients from 10 sites. Unfortunately, evidence shows African Americans with early-stage NSCLC are significantly l...
Conference Paper
Advanced glycation end-products (AGEs), are reactive metabolites produced endogenously as a consequence of glucose uptake during glycolysis. AGEs accumulate in tissues and organs as we grow older to promote multiple chronic disease phenotypes. AGE pathogenic effects are mediated through modification of protein function, genetic fidelity, stress res...
Conference Paper
Background: For women diagnosed with hormone-receptor positive breast cancers, adjuvant endocrine therapy (AET) can significantly reduce their risk of recurrence and mortality. Yet, nearly two-thirds of breast cancer survivors do not take AET as prescribed. AET nonadherence rates are even higher among women who are both financially disadvantaged (e...
Conference Paper
BACKGROUND: Human papilloma virus (HPV) is linked to cervical cancer incidence. The HPV vaccine has been shown to significantly reduce the risk of HPV infection and subsequent cervical cancer diagnosis. Unfortunately, African Americans (AA) show lower uptake of the HPV vaccine than other groups. Underuse of the HPV vaccine has been linked to lack o...
Conference Paper
BACKGROUND: Breast cancer (BCa) is the second leading cause of cancer death among women in the United States and large racial/ethnic disparities are evident. Higher levels of body mass index (BMI), lower rates of physical activity (PA), and hormone receptor-negative BCa sub-type are associated with poorer BCa treatment outcomes. PURPOSE: To evaluat...
Conference Paper
Advanced glycation end-products (AGEs), are reactive metabolites produced endogenously as a consequence of glucose metabolism. AGEs accumulate in tissues and organs as we grow older to promote multiple chronic disease phenotypes. AGE pathogenic effects are mediated through modification of protein function, genetic fidelity, stress responses and cel...
Conference Paper
Our research has demonstrated that advanced glycation end products (AGEs) derived from the diet can directly impact neoplastic growth by creating a tumor-enhancing micro-environment. Most people are unaware of what AGEs are or the damage they can cause, but we are exposed to them every day through the lives we lead and the foods that we eat. The We...
Chapter
Higher BMI, lower rates of physical activity (PA), and hormone receptor-negative breast cancer (BC) subtype are associated with poorer BC treatment outcomes. We evaluated the prevalence of high BMI, low PA level, and BC subtype among survivors with white/European American (EA) and African American (AA) ancestry, as well as a distinct subset of AAs...
Chapter
Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection is the primary risk factor for cervical cancer. While the HPV vaccine significantly reduces the risk of HPV infection and subsequent cervical cancer diagnosis, underuse is linked to lack of knowledge of its effectiveness in preventing cervical cancer. The purpose of this study was to evaluate a cancer educationa...
Article
Objectives To ascertain whether insurance type is associated with postoperative adverse effects and hospital length of stay for inpatient airway foreign body removal. Methods Retrospective analysis of children <18 years of age that underwent inpatient bronchoscopy with removal of airway foreign body in the national Healthcare Cost and Utilization...
Preprint
BACKGROUND Background: Current clinical guidelines recommend that hormone-receptor positive breast cancer survivors take adjuvant hormonal therapy (AHT) for 5 to 10 years following the end of definitive treatment. However, fewer than half of patients are adherent to guidelines and suboptimal adherence to AHT is associated with increased risk of bre...
Article
Background: Current clinical guidelines recommend that hormone receptor-positive breast cancer survivors take adjuvant hormonal therapy (AHT) for 5 to 10 years, following the end of definitive treatment. However, fewer than half of patients adhere to the guidelines, and suboptimal adherence to AHT is associated with an increased risk of breast can...
Conference Paper
Although European American women have a higher incidence of breast cancer, African American women have higher mortality rates with increased occurrence of lethal cancers at a younger age. Breast density, characterized by increases in stroma, is a risk factor for breast cancer and African American women have significantly greater odds of high breast...
Chapter
Clinical research is vital to the discovery of new cancer treatments that can enhance health and prolong life for cancer patients, but breakthroughs in cancer treatment are limited by challenges recruiting patients into cancer clinical trials (CT). Only 3-5% of cancer patients in the United States participate in a cancer CT and there are disparitie...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose:: Participation of racial and ethnic minority groups (REMGs) in cancer trials is disproportionately low despite a high prevalence of certain cancers in REMG populations. We aimed to identify notable practices used by leading US cancer centers that facilitate REMG participation in cancer trials. Methods:: The National Minority Quality For...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose Lifestyle factors associated with personal behavior can alter tumor-associated biological pathways and thereby increase cancer risk, growth, and disease recurrence. Advanced glycation end products (AGEs) are reactive metabolites produced endogenously as a by-product of normal metabolism. A Western lifestyle also promotes AGE accumulation in...
Article
For nearly every category of chronic disease, blacks with African American ancestry (AAs) bear a disproportionate disease burden in comparison to their non-Hispanic white (NHW) counterparts. The purpose of this study was to evaluate perceptions of a radio-based health communication strategy, geared towards AA adults and the medically underserved. T...
Article
Full-text available
Background/Objective: Data suggest that modifiable risk factors such as alcohol and tobacco use may increase the risk of breast cancer (BC) recurrence and reduce survival. Female BC mortality in South Carolina is 40% higher among African Americans (AAs) than European Americans (EAs). Given this substantial racial disparity, using a cross-sectional...
Article
Full-text available
Although obesity and diabetes mellitus, or diabetes, are independently associated with mortality-related events ( e.g., all-cause mortality and cardiovascular-related mortality) following an ischemic stroke, little is known about the joint effect of obesity and diabetes on mortality-related events following an ischemic stroke. The aim of this study...
Data
Supplementary Table 1: adjusted HRs (95% CIs) for all-cause mortality following an ischemic stroke in relation to categorical indicators of BMI and diabetes among current smokers.
Data
Supplementary Table 4: adjusted HRs (95% CIs) for cardiovascular-related mortality following an ischemic stroke in relation to categorical indicators of BMI and diabetes among former/never smokers.
Data
Supplementary Table 3: adjusted HRs (95% CIs) for cardiovascular-related mortality following an ischemic stroke in relation to categorical indicators of BMI and diabetes among current smokers.
Data
Supplementary Table 2: adjusted HRs (95% CIs) for all-cause mortality following an ischemic stroke in relation to categorical indicators of BMI and diabetes among former/never smokers.
Article
The number of colorectal cancer (CRC) survivors in the USA is increasing and factors associated with CRC surveillance require attention. This study examined the role of personal, provider, and practice-level factors on CRC survivor care surveillance experiences and outcomes. A telephone survey, informed by the Chronic Care Model, was conducted over...
Conference Paper
Background: Enrollment of early-stage lung cancer patients to randomized trials has historically been challenging. The STARS Trial enrolled 36 of 1,030 intended patients from 28 sites, while the ROSEL Trial recruited 22 of 960 intended patients from 10 sites. Unfortunately, evidence shows African Americans with early-stage non-small cell lung cance...
Conference Paper
Background: Blacks in the U.S. have the worst breast cancer survival outcomes of any racial/ethnic group in the nation. However, blacks are not a monolithic group but are comprised of several ethnic groups. One such group in particular is the Sea Island or Gullah population of coastal South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, and Florida, whose ance...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Obesity and diabetes mellitus, or diabetes, are independently associated with post-ischemic stroke outcomes (e.g., functional disability and all-cause mortality). Although obesity and diabetes are also associated with post-ischemic stroke outcomes, the joint effect of obesity and diabetes on these post-ischemic stroke outcomes has not...
Article
Full-text available
Background Despite efforts to increase diversity in clinical trials, racial/ethnic minority groups generally remain underrepresented, limiting researchers’ ability to test the efficacy and safety of new interventions across diverse populations. We describe the use of a systematic framework, intervention mapping (IM), to develop an intervention to m...
Article
In the United States (U.S.), Hispanics experience breast cancer disparities. Breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related death among Hispanic women, and Hispanic women receive mammography screening at lower rates than some other ethnic groups. This low rate of screening mammography is associated with increased risk for possible late-stage...
Article
Despite cutting edge progress in early detection, risk reduction, and prevention, unique contextual and sociocultural factors contribute to higher mortality rates for selected cancers in African-American men and women. Collaborative community engagement and outreach programming strategies that focus on sustainability and grass-roots organizing can...
Article
Background Racial/ethnic minority groups remain underrepresented in clinical trials. Many strategies to increase minority recruitment focus on minority communities and emphasize common diseases such as hypertension. Scant literature focuses on minority recruitment to trials of less common conditions, often conducted in specialty clinics and depende...
Article
High rates of overweight/obesity are commonly seen in breast cancer (BC) survivors. Observational data show an association between post-treatment increased weight and lack of physical activity (PA) and risk of BC recurrence and death. Increases in prognostic inflammatory associated biomarkers (BM) such as interleukin-6 (IL6) and C-reactive protein...
Article
s: Ninth AACR Conference on the Science of Cancer Health Disparities in Racial/Ethnic Minorities and the Medically Underserved; September 25-28, 2016; Fort Lauderdale, FL BACKGROUND: Enrollment of early stage lung cancer patients to randomized trials has historically been challenging. The STARS Trial enrolled 36 of 1,030 intended patients from 28...
Article
INTRODUCTION: Surgical resection, though the most optimal treatment for lung cancer induces immunosuppression that can lead to unfavorable outcomes such as tumor recurrence. High psychological stress and sociodemographic factors can further exacerbate outcomes. Chronic stress and sociodemographic factors are significant contributors to dysregulated...
Article
Purpose: Patient navigation, support and guidance provided by trained culturally sensitive health care workers, has been promoted as a strategy to improve care quality and reduce cancer health disparities. Yet, the availability and extent of navigation in community oncology practices is unclear. The purpose of this analysis was to assess: 1) availa...
Article
Poor diet, low income, obesity, and a lack of exercise are established lifestyle factors that are known to increase cancer burden and are often more prevalent in African American communities. As our understanding of tumor biology advances, it is becoming increasingly clear that these inter-related lifestyle factors have distinct molecular consequen...
Article
In South Carolina, mortality differences between African American (AA) and non-Hispanic white (NHW) women breast cancer patients are amongst the highest in the country. Evidence suggests that the observed racial disparity exists independent of socioeconomic and standard of care issues, suggesting a potential biological factor may be involved. The l...
Chapter
Full-text available
The significantly higher breast cancer (BCa) mortality rates of African-American (AA) women compared to non-Hispanic (NHW) white women constitute a major US health disparity. Investigations have primarily focused on biological differences in tumors to explain more aggressive forms of BCa in AA women. The biology of tumors cannot be modified, yet li...
Chapter
The underrepresentation of ethnically diverse populations in cancer clinical trials results in the inequitable distribution of the risks and benefits of this research. Using a case study approach, we apply a conceptual framework of factors associated with the participation of diverse population groups in cancer clinical trials developed by Dr. Jean...
Article
Background: Colorectal cancer (CRC) survival rates are increasing. Effective strategies to recruit CRC survivors to surveillance studies are needed. Objective: We analyzed the barriers encountered while recruiting CRC survivors to a study assessing their surveillance care experiences. Methods: The study included three phases: (I) focus groups/...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Racial difference of religiosity in a heterogeneous older population had long been a focal point of gerontological research. However, most religiosity measures were developed from homogeneous sample, few underwent rigorous psychometric validation, and studies on racial difference of religiosity had been obstructed. Objectives: This s...
Article
Full-text available
We investigated the association between socioeconomic status and ovarian cancer in African-American women. We used a population-based case-control study design that included case patients with incident ovarian cancer (n = 513) and age- and area-matched control participants (n = 721) from 10 states who were recruited into the African American Cancer...
Article
Poor diet, low income, obesity and a lack of exercise are established lifestyle factors that are known to increase cancer burden and are often more prevalent in African American communities. As our understanding of tumor biology advances it is becoming increasingly clear that these inter-related lifestyle factors have distinct molecular consequence...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Clinical trials (CT) represent an important treatment option for cancer patients. Unfortunately, patients face challenges to enrolling in CTs, such as logistical barriers, poor CT understanding and complex clinical regimens. Patient navigation is a strategy that may help to improve the delivery of CT education and support services. We e...
Article
Background: LDTCI (i.e., surgical resection or stereotactic body radiation therapy [SBRT] in patients who are not surgical candidates]) is the standard of care for patients with early stage NSCLC. Unfortunately, African Americans with early stage, NSCLC are significantly less likely than their European American counterparts to undergo resection. Pu...
Article
Poor diet, low income, obesity and a lack of exercise are established lifestyle factors that are known to increase cancer burden and are often more prevalent in African American communities. As our understanding of tumor biology advances, it is becoming increasingly clear that these inter-related lifestyle factors have distinct molecular consequenc...
Article
The South Carolina Cancer Disparities Research Center (SC CaDRe), funded by the NIH/NCI Center to Reduce Cancer Health Disparities (CRCHD) in 2011, is a formal collaboration between the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) and South Carolina State University (SCSU, an historically black university). The SC CaDRe focuses on biological mechani...
Article
Breast cancer (BCa) is the 2nd leading cause of cancer death in women in the US. African American (AA) women have higher BCa mortality rates and higher obesity rates compared to other women. It is well known that exercise and a healthier diet can improve prognosis among BCa survivors but little is known about their positive effects on common biolog...
Article
Tamoxifen is the most widely prescribed adjuvant therapy for estrogen receptor positive (ER+) breast cancer which comprises around 70% of all breast cancer cases. While many patients respond positively to tamoxifen treatment around 50% have de-novo resistance and approximately 30% of responsive tumors recur due to acquired drug resistance. Compared...
Article
Full-text available
Study objective: Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines provide an opportunity to greatly reduce the burden of cervical cancer. Although there has been improvement in uptake, there are notable ethnic/racial disparities. This qualitative study was conducted to better understand factors related to vaccine uptake among female adolescents from 3 racial/e...