DCCPS International Activities

Meeting Reports

Oregon Conference Explores Disease Etiology
Dr. Nancy Potischman chaired a cancer session at the 7th World Congress on Developmental Origins of Health and Disease in September 2011 in Portland, OR. Attendance reached the maximum of 700 participants from 47 countries. This international meeting discussed the early origins of adult conditions with a wide variety of outcomes, from cognitive function to development of chronic disease. Opening and Closing Plenary Sessions addressed global challenges, showcased templates for successful public health interventions, and considered how science, public health policy, and political sectors can come together to implement change.

December 2011
Volume 1, Issue 2

In This Issue

Meeting Reports

Upcoming Events

Ongoing Projects

Research and Training Initiatives

Damali Martin, Ph.D., M.P.H.
DCCPS International Research Coordinator

Workshop in Latin America Focuses on Physical Activity Assessment
The Physical Fitness Research Center of São Caetano do Sul Exit Disclaimer – CELAFISCS and the University of Pelotas Exit Disclaimer partnered with NCI to host a July 2011 workshop in Guadalajara, Mexico, titled "Measurement of Active and Sedentary Behaviors: Bridging Methodological Approaches in Pan American Research." The workshop examined considerations for assessing physical activity and sedentary behaviors in Latin America and promoted the development of cross-culturally proficient assessment methods. Participants discussed the applicability of knowledge produced in a 2010 workshop on self-report methods for assessing physical activity and sedentary behavior, as well as opportunities for Pan American collaboration to advance active and sedentary behavior research. At the end of the meeting, attendees called for the development of a searchable web-based resource to guide researchers and practitioners in using self-report measures of physical activity and to identify approaches for harmonizing surveillance methods in order to compare population estimates of physical activity internationally.

DCCPS and Center for Global Health-Sponsored Workshop on Prostate Cancer in Men of African Descent
DCCPS and the Center for Global Health sponsored a workshop on prostate cancer in Men of African descent October 5–7, 2011. The workshop was held on the NIH main campus at The Cloisters. The three-day workshop focused on training in grant writing and the publication process for young international scientists, as well as promoting multi- and transdisciplinary research collaborations among domestic and international scientists involved in prostate cancer research in men of African descent. Participants in the workshop discussed scientific goals and future initiatives for prostate cancer research in men of African descent. As a result, EGRP acquired two emerging consortia, the Prostate Cancer Transatlantic Consortium (CaPTC) and the Afro-Caribbean Cancer Consortium (AC3). These consortia will be working together with the Men of African Descent and Prostate Cancer (MADCaP) consortia to continue to pursue trans-national opportunities and strategies for future research. More than 65 attendees from the United States, the UK, Africa, and the Caribbean attended the workshop.

International Quitline Institute Training
NCI supported the International Quitline Institute Training in Seattle, WA, October 9–14, 2011. This conference aimed to orient attendees to essential components needed to set up, operate, and maintain a quitline. Attendees studied case-based scenarios and learned best practices and standard protocols for success. Attendees left the conference with quitline goals and plans for their own organizations and communities. Dr. Erik Augustson represented NCI at this meeting. http://internationalquitlineinstitute.com/

13th Annual Meeting of the Society for Research on Nicotine and

The 13th Annual Meeting of the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco-Europe (SRNT-Europe) was held September 9–11, 2011, in Antalya, Turkey. NCI staff participated in a one-day pre-conference sponsored by SRNT and NCI titled "Research Needs of the Framework Convention for Tobacco Control (FCTC)." NCI awarded a contract to SRNT to undertake an assessment of the Framework Convention for Tobacco Control (FCTC) to identify priority research needs, including research areas and skills, and the infrastructures needed to implement and disseminate this research. Contract products included the SRNT-Europe pre-conference and seven manuscripts summarizing research needs for specific FCTC articles. The manuscripts are slated for e-publication by March 2012. Ami Bahde represented NCI at this meeting.

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Upcoming Events

DCCPS Participates in Global Diet and Physical Activity Methods Conference
The 8th International Conference on Diet and Activity Methods (ICDAM) will take place in Rome in the spring of 2012. Dr. Amy Subar serves on the planning committee for the 2012 conference. NCI hosted the 7th ICDAM in Washington, D.C., in 2009.

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Ongoing Projects

ICSN Explores Prominent and Emerging Screening Issues
The International Cancer Screening Network (ICSN) is a voluntary consortium of 33 countries that have active population-based cancer screening programs. The ICSN, chaired by Dr. Rachel Ballard-Barbash, is dedicated to collaborative research aimed at identifying and fostering efficient and effective approaches to cancer control worldwide through population-based screening. The most recent ICSN meeting took place in 2010 in Oxford, England. The next meeting will be held in October 2012 in Sydney, Australia, in conjunction with the Sydney International Breast Cancer Congress. The ICSN has several active working groups: program assessment, biomarkers and screening, international application of test sets, ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) and quality of care, screening participation rates, radiology feedback, and international comparisons of cost.

Stephen Taplin is working with Antonio Ponti and Elsebeth Lynge on the International Cancer Screening Network to research the variability in DCIS. Fifteen countries have contributed data, which will be published in a research paper.

DCCPS Contributing to Canadian Cancer Surveillance Efforts
Dr. Rachel Ballard-Barbash serves on an international scientific advisory committee to review the Canadian Cancer Surveillance and Epidemiology Networks. These networks were created by the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer to renew cancer surveillance practices by increasing the quality and breadth of surveillance products, enhancing analytic capacity, and implementing knowledge translation practices.

SEER-Medicare Data Informing Screening and End-of-Life Care Questions
NCI staff are involved in an ongoing collaboration with a group of investigators in Ontario to examine end-of-life care, a clinical care arena that is documented to have wide variability in practice, quality, and associated costs. They are conducting studies on end-of-life care for lung cancer patients, comparing SEER-Medicare with Ontario’s claims data systems to examine patterns and the cost of end-of-life care. The Toronto investigators are from the University of Toronto, Toronto General Research Institute, Institute of Clinical Evaluative Sciences, and Toronto Regional Cancer Center. Another collaboration with researchers at the University of Toronto is a case-control study of the effectiveness of colonoscopy in preventing colorectal cancer death, using SEER-Medicare data. This work was presented at the Digestive Disease Week conference Exit Disclaimer in Chicago in May 2011 and will be summarized in a manuscript.

DCCPS Staff Active in Canadian Clinical Evaluation Initiatives
Since its inception in 1992, the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES) in Toronto has played a key role in providing unique scientific insights to help policymakers, managers, planners, practitioners, and researchers shape the future direction of the Ontario health care system. The work of ICES encompasses the assessment of care delivery, patterns of service utilization, health technologies, drug therapies, and treatment modalities. Drs. Joan Warren, Robin Yabroff, and Martin Brown collaborate with the ICES.

DCCPS Advising on Canadian Health Services Research
Dr. Joan Warren serves on the Scientific Advisory Board for the Health Services Research Program of the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research (OICR) Exit Disclaimer and Cancer Care Ontario (CCO). Exit Disclaimer The Board provides feedback on the progress of research activities, the focus of which changes each year. In 2010, Dr. Warren provided particular input on work relating to data linkages.

NCI Dietary Assessment Tools Draw International Interest
Led by Dr. Amy Subar, NCI has developed an Automated Self-Administered 24-hour Dietary Recall (ASA24) available for public use by the research community. Various international research communities are interested in adapting ASA24, including investigators in Canada and the UK. NCI’s Diet History Questionnaire has been adapted for use in Canada and is available at https://epi.grants.cancer.gov/dhq2/.

DCCPS Collaborates with Canadian Investigators on Survey Analyses
Applied Research Program staff (Drs. Rachel Ballard-Barbash, Ashley Wilder Smith, Richard Troiano, Fran Thompson, Ms. Emilee Pressman, and Ms. Laurel Borowski) are collaborating with the University of British Columbia on analyses and manuscript development using data from the NCI-sponsored 2008 National Survey of Energy Balance Related Care among Primary Care Physicians (EB-PCP) and the 2007-2008 Canadian Physician Health Study. Exit Disclaimer

DCCPS Collaborates to Translate and Validate PRO-CTCAE into German and Chinese
Outcomes Research Branch (ORB) staff (Dr. Sandra Mitchell and Ms. Kate Castro) are collaborating with investigators at the University of Basel Exit Disclaimer in Switzerland and the National University of Singapore Exit Disclaimer to develop and preliminarily validate translations of the Patient-Reported Outcomes version of the Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events (PRO-CTCAE) Exit Disclaimer item library. Collaborations with colleagues at the University of Tokyo Exit Disclaimer have also produced a Japanese translation of the PRO-CTCAE item library, and linguistic validation of those items will begin soon.

ORB is also collaborating with a team at the University of Bonn Exit Disclaimer in Germany to further test and refine the German-language PRO-CTCAE items in an upcoming study. The study will examine the effects on patient outcomes of an interdisciplinary service delivery model that integrates physicians, nurses, and pharmacists into the care of medically complex patients.

A key step in promoting widespread implementation of PRO-CTCAE in both international and U.S. trials is the availability of translated and linguistically and culturally adapted instrument versions. Under the terms of Material Transfer Agreements negotiated with these investigators through the NCI Office of Technology Transfer, ORB can distribute the translated item libraries to other national and international investigators who are interested in using PRO-CTCAE in their studies.

WHO-HHS mHealth Global Partnership
NCI launched a library of smoking cessation messages, QuitNowTXT, which provides the foundation for an interactive text-based intervention for adult smokers. HHS is pursuing opportunities to forge a global public-private partnership to make the QuitNowTXT program available to other countries. Global partners committed to collaborating with HHS on this initiative include the mHealth Alliance (hosted by the United Nations Foundation), World Medical Association, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, Center for Global Health at the George Washington University, and Johnson & Johnson. This initiative aims to collaborate with interested countries to support mHealth/text-based demonstration projects using this new text messaging resource, now freely available on the mHealth Alliance’s HealthUnbound.org website. Drawing on the experience gained from these demonstration projects, the countries and partners will identify and disseminate best practices for tobacco cessation mHealth/text-based interventions.

Tobacco Research Network on Disparities
The Tobacco Research Network on Disparities (TReND), funded by NCI and Legacy, has issued an International Call for Papers for a special journal issue on Movies, Entertainment Media, and Tobacco-Related Disparities. The editors seek research that examines mechanisms of exposure of smoking in entertainment media; examination and/or evaluation of policy; research design and measurement; and implications for global tobacco control. Manuscripts are due by February 1, 2012, for consideration in a special journal issue published by Addiction. Please direct questions to Allison Rose (rosea@mail.nih.gov).

Attitudes Toward Informed Decision Making in the U.S. and England
Sarah Kobrin is leading a group to examine attitudes toward informed decision making among older men in both the United States and England. Collaborators include David Portnoy (NCI) and Paul Hewitson, Research Fellow at the University of Oxford, England. Ten focus groups have been completed: five in the United States and five in England. The findings were presented at the Ca-PRI meeting in the Netherlands this past spring; results will also be published in a research paper.

Stimulating and Supporting Cancer-Related Data Collection in the Pacific Region
Discussions continue about how to stimulate and support cancer-related data collection in the Pacific Region. A meeting will be held on January 3, 2012, in Oahu to discuss these topics and will include participants from the University of Hawaii Cancer Center and Medical Center, University of Guam, NCI, the Legacy Foundation, and the HHS Office of the National Coordinator.

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Research and Training Initiatives

Distance Learning Online Certificate Course on Implementation Research
A new Distance Learning Online Certificate Course on Implementation Research is jointly being developed by USAID, NIH, and WHO, with funding from PEPFAR. This new course on Implementation Research is an exciting effort to orient and build capacity among developing country researchers with interest to engage in this relatively new line of research. Russ Glasgow (NCI), Mike Sanchez (NCI), and Linda Kupfer (Fogarty International) have participated with the content development.

Applications Invited for International Development and Education Award
The Conquer Cancer Foundation of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) invites applications for its International Development and Education Award (IDEA) program. This award provides support for early-career oncologists in low- and middle-income countries. The deadline for receipt of applications is January 11, 2012.

The award includes the opportunity to attend the ASCO Annual Meeting, be paired with a mentor from the United States or Canada, spend several days at the mentor's institution, and develop long-term relationships to improve cancer care in the recipients’ countries. More information is available at the Conquer Cancer Foundation website.

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