DCCPS International Activities

Meeting Reports

World Conference on Tobacco or Health (WCTOH)
NCI provided funding and scientific support for the 15th World Conference on Tobacco or Health (WCTOH) held March 20-24, 2012, in Changi, Singapore. The WCTOH takes place every three years and brings together thousands of the tobacco control researchers and practitioners from around the world to discuss global efforts to reduce the burden of tobacco use. NCI staff participated in conference oral and poster presentation sessions and assisted in organizing several pre-conference workshops and ancillary meetings. Mark Parascandola led a pre-conference meeting entitled "Accelerating Global Research and Collaboration on Smokeless Tobacco" and a hemi-plenary on the global impact of smokeless tobacco, featuring the NCI-CDC Global Smokeless Tobacco Report.

March 2012
Volume 2, Issue 1

In This Issue

Meeting Reports

Upcoming Events

Ongoing Projects

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

National Lung Screening Trial Results Presented in Italy
Pamela Marcus presented the findings of the National Lung Screening Trial at the Annual Congress of the Italian Society of Pulmonary Physicians in Bologna, Italy, on December 1, 2011. The conference venue was Palazzo della Cultura e dei Congressi. Dr. Marcus met with leading Italian pulmonologists, including Franco Falcone (President of the Society) and Laura Carozzi, and learned about the Italian health care system and the Italian view on lung cancer screening.

National Cancer Research Institute’s 2011 Cancer Conference
Linda Nebeling attended the National Cancer Research Institute’s 2011 Cancer Conference, held November Nov 6 – 9, 2011 in Liverpool, England. This international congress brought world leading research experts together to review the state of obesity, prevention, and chronic disease risk. Dr. Nebeling gave a presentation on NCI’s Transdisciplinary Research on Energetics and Cancer (TREC) Center initiative and research priorities. The conference was well attended, with more than 2,000 international participants, predominantly from the UK. Numerous experts provided their most recent research results concerning cancer metabolism, energy balance, and cancer control. The conference program is available at https://conference.ncri.org.uk/. Exit Disclaimer

Dr. Nebeling met with investigators and major research funding agencies from the UK, Scotland, Ireland, and the United States to review their research and program priorities. Specific contacts were with representatives from the NCRI, the Cardiff University, UK, and the Beatson Institute for Cancer Research. As part of these discussions, scientific opportunities in transdisciplinary focused cancer prevention program development were discussed. The Health Behaviors Research Branch (HBRB) will continue collaborations with Dr. Laurence Moore, Cardiff University, UK, with a visit to NCI planned for spring 2012.

International Forum on Promoting Healthy Lifestyles – Kazan 2011
The NCI Office of International Affairs has collaborated with the American Russian Cancer Alliance in supporting a previous meeting in Kazan, Russia, as well as a tobacco study. The Alliance aims to promote scientific exchange and collaboration between the US and Russia. The most recent meeting in Kazan was held October 11-14, 2011. The Forum addressed several health promotion topics, including cancer screening, road traffic injuries, alcoholism, and tobacco. Mark Parascandola represented NCI and his presentation focused on lessons learned from the US experience about effective, comprehensive tobacco control. He also visited the Tatarstan Regional Clinical Oncology Center and participated in discussions about the center’s tobacco study.

Prostate Cancer in Men of African Descent: Opportunities for Global Research Collaborations
The Epidemiology and Genomics Research Program (EGRP) and Center for Global Health (CGH) cosponsored a workshop on Prostate Cancer in Men of African Descent: Opportunities for Global Research Collaborations on October 5-7, 2011, on the NIH campus in Bethesda, MD.

International Society of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity
Linda Nebeling attended the International Society of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity’s Annual Conference on June 15-18, 2011, in Melbourne, Australia. The conference was well attended, with more than 700 international participants. Numerous experts provided their most recent research results concerning exercise, energy balance, and cancer. Extreme travel delays were experienced by many due to unusal volanic activity 6000 miles away in Chile, which caused major havoc with air and train transportation out of Sydney. The conference program is available at https://www.isbnpa.org. Two presentations on NCI’s Transdisciplinary Research on Energetics and Cancer (TREC) Center initiative were made. Additional discussions occurred on both scientific opportunities and future collaboration potential between the planned European/Australian TREC-like research centers and NCI’s TREC initiative.

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 on May 14-17, 2012. Amy Subar serves on the planning committee for the 2012 conference. NCI hosted the 7th ICDAM in Washington, DC in 2009.

National Health Survey Development
Hosted by Renming University and funded by the Ministry of Health in China, an international workshop will take place in Beijing in July 10-17, 2012. Dr. Wen-ying Sylvia Chou, of the Health Communication and Informatics Research Branch (HCIRB), will present findings from the development and dissemination of the Health Information National Trend Survey (HINTS) cross-linguistic survey development, and review results of field tests with colleagues in George Mason and Renming Universities to inform the final stages of the development of HINTS Chinese, to be fielded in 2013. Dr. Chou has been invited by health communication investigators in Taiwan to present HCIRB science priorities in Taipei, Taiwan, and will take the opportunity to seek partnerships in developing health surveys in Taiwan and Hong Kong. The building of partnerships in Asia is a key step in promoting widespread implementation of HINTS and global collaboration in the area of health promotion and communication.

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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 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, DCIS and quality of care, screening participation rates, radiology feedback, and international comparisons of cost.

DCCPS Contributing to Canadian Cancer Surveillance Efforts
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 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. One paper has been published, and a second analysis, comparing cost of treatment, is in the final stages. 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 in Chicago, IL, in May 2011. A paper is under review.

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. Joan Warren, Robin Yabroff, and Martin Brown collaborate with the ICES.

DCCPS Advising on Canadian Health Services Research
Joan Warren serves on the Scientific Advisory Board for the Health Services Research Program of the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research (OICR) and Cancer Care Ontario (CCO). The Board provides feedback on the progress of research activities, the focus of which changes each year. Dr. Warren has provided particular input on work relating to data linkages. The OICR has linked the Ontario Cancer Registry to provincial health claims, using SEER-Medicare as their model. They are in the initial phases of using these data for analyses. The next meeting will take place in Toronto in May, 2012.

NCI Dietary Assessment Tools Draw International Interest
Led by 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 to Translate and Validate PRO-CTCAE into German and Chinese
Outcomes Research Branch (ORB) staff (Sandra Mitchell and 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 US 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 staff can distribute the translated item libraries to other national and international investigators who are interested in using PRO-CTCAE in their studies.

DCCPS Partners with Chinese CDC on Folate Exposure Study
A follow-up study of a cohort that began in the 1990s involves collaboration among DCCPS staff (Nancy Potischman, David Berrigan, and Joseph Su), Martha Linet and Cari Kitahara in the Division of Cancer Epidemiology & Genomics, the NIH Office of Dietary Supplements, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Exit Disclaimer The cohort includes women who were or were not exposed to folate during pregnancy, and their children. The original study found significantly fewer birth defects for the folate group. The follow-up study’s objectives are to examine childhood cancer incidence and biological and other risk factors for adult cancers.

DCCPS Contributing to Trans-NIH Research Capacity Building Program Exit Disclaimer
NCI joined the recently released third issuance of the International Tobacco and Health Research and Capacity Building program, a trans-NIH research initiative led by the Fogarty International Center (FIC) and co-sponsored by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). The goal of this RFA continues to be to support research and research capacity building projects focused on observational, interventional, or policy research that address the large and growing burden of tobacco use in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). As in the past, research projects must represent collaborations between scientists in the United States or other high-income country and scientists from one or more LMICs, the proposed research must be of local relevance, and research capacity strengthening must be an integral and significant part of the proposal. The major portion of the research must be conducted in the LMIC under study. Projects will also be required to disseminate research findings to broad audiences, incorporate strategies for regional impact, and take steps to ensure the project’s sustainability following the conclusion of the grant period.

DCCPS Contributing to Demonstrating the Effectiveness of Tobacco Control Policies in High- vs. Low- Income Countries Exit Disclaimer
NCI supports the International Tobacco Control Policy Evaluation Consortium (ITC Project). The objective of the ITC Project is to evaluate and understand the impact of the tobacco control policies implemented as part of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), the first-ever global health treaty. The ITC Project began in 2002 with annual surveys of smokers in the four major English-speaking countries—US, U.K., Canada, and Australia—and has since expanded to more than 20 countries. The ITC Project is the only international study that is specifically evaluating the effectiveness of the FCTC policies, and as a result, the data from the ITC Project have quickly become an important source of scientific evidence on the impact of national-level tobacco control polices. NCI also supports the Tobacco Control Policy Evaluation in China and South Korea, also known as the ITC Asia Project, which includes a collaboration of more than 40 tobacco control experts across nine countries who are examining the psychosocial and behavioral effects of FCTC tobacco control policies in China and South Korea.

WHO-HHS mHealth Global Partnership
As part of ongoing efforts by HHS to increase support of tobacco control internationally, Erik Augustson traveled with an HHS Department delegation to Beijing, China, from November 29 to December 7, 2011. Erik’s role was to assist in the formation of collaborations to culturally tailor, launch, and evaluate the use of mHealth smoking cessation interventions based on NCI’s QuitNowTXT program. While there, he met with a wide range of organizations including representatives of the Chinese Ministry of Health, CDC China, the Chinese Academy of Traditional Medicine, the Chinese Academy of Western Medicine, WHO, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and the CDC.

International Screening Network
Stephen Taplin has been working with investigators from 17 countries to estimate the variation in rates of ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) diagnosed through screening programs in Europe and some parts of Asia. The countries involved are part of the International Screening Network. Researchers are looking at variation in rates of DCIS and methods of treatment, as these factors can have an impact on screening of women around the world.

Translation and Implementation of the Health information National Trend Survey (HINTS) in China
Behavioral Research Branch staff members (Kelly Blake, Wen-ying Sylvia Chou, Lila Finney-Rutten, Bradford Hesse, and Richard Moser) are collaborating with investigators at George Mason University and Renming University in China, to develop, validate, and implement Chinese translations of the Health Communication National Trend Survey (HINTS IV). Principal investigators from Renming University have been invited to visit the NCI during their April visit to the DC area. This national survey, currently being modified for linguistic and cultural appropriateness and pilot-tested in Beijing, will contribute to the health communication surveillance, inform public health programs such as tobacco cessation and healthy lifestyle promotion efforts, and enable international research collaboration using cross-regional data. The validated instrument will also facilitate adoption of the Chinese translation of HINTS in the US for future iterations of the survey.

Men of African Descent and Carcinoma of the Prostate GEM Translation Initiative
The Health Communication and Informatics Research Branch (HCIRB) is currently expanding the capabilities of the Grid-Enabled Measures (GEM) database, a website containing behavioral and biological survey measures and data to facilitate scientific collaboration. HCIRB is currently piloting language translation and workspaces that facilitate collaboration of international research consortia. The Men of African Descent and Carcinoma of the Prostate (MADCaP) group, whose primary aim is to reduce disproportionately high levels of prostate cancer in African-American men and the broader diaspora, has been invited to be the first international research team to pilot the GEM Translation Initiative (GEM-TI). Members of the MADCaP will soon have access to a tool allowing researchers to prioritize measures and collectively translate them in a wiki platform ("crowdsourcing" translation). This effort promises to accelerate research by providing a Web-based infrastructure for collaboration that transcends language, borders, and resource deficits.

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