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National Cancer Institute

2017 Sandpit Workshop: Knowledge Integration Across Health Domains, Professions, and Nations to Advance Cancer Prevention

The National Cancer Institute hosted a “Sandpit” workshop (i.e., ideas lab) that brought together a broad, multidisciplinary group of participants. Participants were encouraged to collaborate on innovative ideas for integrating knowledge across health behaviors, research fields, and national contexts in order to advance cancer control and prevention. Health behaviors often co-occur and have shared determinants at multiple levels (e.g., biological, individual, relational, environmental). However, research programs frequently examine and intervene on single health behaviors without systematically integrating knowledge across behaviors. Through an intensive, interactive, and collaborative experience that brought together researchers from different disciplines and national contexts, the Sandpit workshop aimed to facilitate the development of research ideas that cut across behavioral domains, professional sectors, and geographic boundaries to cultivate new insights across five key cancer-related health behaviors: tobacco use, alcohol consumption, dietary behavior, physical activity, and UV exposure.

The intensive three-day residential workshop took place April 24-26, 2017, in Potomac, Maryland, and provided participants with an opportunity to:

  • Network and form collaborations spanning different research areas, organizations, and nations.
  • Work in multidisciplinary teams to generate innovative project ideas.
  • Receive guidance on applying for seed funding from Cancer Research UK to test the feasibility of their ideas.

US and UK teams developed five focus areas.

  1. Advancing Cancer Prevention Pricing Interventions across the UK and US: Optimizing Message Framing (Rachel Carey, David Conway, Joseph Lee, Elisa Trucco)
  2. Changing How People Think and Feel about Cancer Prevention Behaviors: Translating Neuroscience into Population Health (Elisa Trucco, Laura Martin, Sara Levens, Nina Cooperman, Austin Baldwin, Noreen Mdege, Angelos Kassianos)
  3. Incentivized smoking cessation for tobacco treatment-resistant diabetics (Sydney Martinez, Fiona Mitchell, Sammy Quaife)
  4. Project HATCH – Staying Healthy After Childbirth: A cross-national study to support smoking abstinence and inter-related cancer-prevention behaviours among postpartum women (Caitlin Notley, Angelos Kassianos, Dian Nostikasari, Claire Spears, Allison Kurti, Jamie Payton)\
  5. RESET Sleep: Regulating Exercise, Substance Use, and Eating through Sleep (Jennifer Taber, Beth Smith, Tapio Paljarvi, Brinda Rana, Lisa Cadmus-Bertram, Darren Mays)