DCCPS International Activities

June 2013

In This Issue

Noteworthy Reports

Meeting Reports

Upcoming Events

Ongoing Global Health Projects

Brenda Edwards, Ph.D.
DCCPS International Research Coordinator

Noteworthy Reports

Special issue of Cancer on US-European Perspectives on Cancer Survivorship
Several NCI staff, including Catherine Alfano, Laura Forsythe, Erin Kent, and Julia Rowland, collaborated with European colleagues on papers for a special supplement to the journal Cancer comparing current perspectives and emerging issues in survivorship for researchers and clinicians on both sides of the Atlantic. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ cncr.v119.S11/issuetoc Exit Disclaimer

International Collaboration of Consortia Links New DNA Regions to Breast, Ovarian, and Prostate Cancers
In March 2013, several scientific journals--Nature Genetics, PLoS Genetics, The American Journal of Human Genetics, Molecular Genetics, and Nature Communications--featured new research findings from the Collaborative Oncological Gene-environment Study (COGS). Exit Disclaimer

The COGS international mega-collaboration includes many NCI-supported investigators from EGRP-supported research consortia and from the NCI-funded Genetic Associations and Mechanisms in Oncology (GAME-ON) network. It was designed to advance scientific understanding of genetic susceptibility to three hormone-related cancers: breast, ovarian, and prostate cancers. The initiative examined hundreds of thousands of locations in the genomes of more than 250,000 people with and without cancer. The results represent a milestone in epidemiology; researchers discovered many new regions linked with overall risk for breast, ovarian, and prostate cancers, as well as confirming previously known genetic markers.

These results demonstrate the value of continued large-scale, international, scientific collaborations and arrays designed for mega-analysis. A new custom genotyping array, the "OncoChip," is currently being designed by investigators from the United Kingdom and the United States to provide further genetic characterization of breast, ovarian, prostate, colorectal, and lung cancers.

In a Nature Genetics commentary, the authors summarize and provide insights into this collection of papers from COGS and GAME-ON investigators. The implications of the results and future directions for such efforts are also discussed.

The commentary and 13 other papers are available in the April 2013 Nature Genetics iCOGS Focus issue Exit Disclaimer (published online March 27, 2013).

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Meeting Reports

InterLymph Annual Meeting, France
Members of the International Lymphoma Epidemiology Consortium (InterLymph) and other interested individuals were invited to attend the 2013 Annual Meeting at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Dijon in France. The meeting was held June 24-26, 2013.  Learn more at https://epi.grants.cancer.gov/interlymph/meeting2013.html.

3rd International Conference on Ambulatory Monitoring of Physical Activity and Movement, US
Richard Troiano and James McClain served on the scientific planning committee of the 3rd International Conference on Ambulatory Monitoring of Physical Activity and Movement (ICAMPAM), Exit Disclaimer which was held at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst on June 17-19, 2013. Drs. Troiano and McClain presented a pre-conference workshop titled “Moving Towards Development of Shared Database Resources in Ambulatory Monitoring Research.” In addition, Dr. Troiano presented “Physical Activity Monitoring in NHANES: Technological and Methodological Progress.” Dr. McClain presented “Developing Information and Infrastructure Resources for Collaboration in Ambulatory Monitoring Research.”

International Shared Decision Making Conference, Peru
Sarah Kobrin and Miho Tanaka attended the 7th International Shared Decision Making Conference in Lima, Peru, June 16-19, 2013, “Globalizing SDM: Patients @ the center of healthcare.” Sarah and Miho gave an oral presentation, “SDM Measures: Promoting Harmonized Data Using the US National Cancer Institute's Grid-Enabled Measures (GEM) Portal,” on June 18. The presentation summarized initial achievements of the GEM-SDM project, implications for the conceptualization of SDM, and plans for the future dissemination of the measures to SDM research communities. SDM researchers from the US, Canada, UK, Germany, and the Netherlands participated in the initial phase of the GEM-SDM.

Cancer and Primary Care Research International Network (Ca-PRI) Annual Meeting, UK
Carrie Klabunde and Stephen Taplin participated in the Cancer and Primary Care Research International Network (Ca-PRI) annual meeting Exit Disclaimer in Cambridge, England, on April 15-16, 2013. Ca-PRI was established in 2008 and brings together investigators from various parts of the world who have a common interest in primary care cancer research. Dr. Klabunde chaired a workshop on International Collaborative Research to Improve Cancer Screening, and gave a presentation, titled “Colorectal Cancer Screening Participation:  How Can It Be Measured for Meaningful Comparisons, and How Can It Be Improved?,” based on work that she is leading for the NCI-sponsored International Cancer Screening Network (ICSN). Dr. Taplin presented on work that he has been engaged in through the ICSN to make cross-national comparisons of the classification and management of ductal carcinoma in situ in breast cancer screening. Drs. Klabunde and Taplin also contributed to discussions about another international project in which they are co-investigators with colleagues from the United Kingdom. That project is examining the role of primary care in cancer screening delivery internationally. The next meeting of the Ca-PRI consortium will be held in Winnipeg, Canada, on June 10-13, 2014.

National Awareness and Early Diagnosis Initiative Exit Disclaimer (NAEDI), UK
On April 17, 2013, Stephen Taplin attended a meeting of researchers from throughout the UK leading five initiatives to compare cancer survival curves from different regions within the UK (England, Northern Ireland, and Wales) to regions in Europe (Denmark, Norway, Sweden), Australia, and Canada. This is a major effort by the UK to more closely examine their cancer care and the role of primary care within it. The effort is born out of concern that survival is worse in the UK compared to other countries. There was particular concern that inadequate evaluation of symptomatic patients in primary care was affecting cancer survival. Dr. Taplin attended as a primary care and cancer detection content expert and to understand whether the effort is relevant to comparisons within the US.

National Trends Survey in China (HINTS China)
The Behavioral Research Program (BRP) continues to participate in the development of the Health Information National Trends Survey in China (HINTS China).  A large-scale survey developed through a joint venture by China’s Renmin University and Ministry of Health of China and George Mason University (GMU), BRP staff have been asked to provide scientific input and support in the survey development and implementation and, most recently, data analysis and results dissemination.   As of early 2013, pilot surveys were completed and data gathered from two cities, Beijing and Hefei, Anhui Province.  At the DC-Area Health Communication Conference in March 2013, the Chinese team presented preliminary results and held extensive discussion with NCI and GMU colleagues on strategies for communicating pilot data results and plans for a full-scale, biennial national survey.  Following the conference, pilot data were shared with the Behavioral Research Program, with plans for data analyses and publications, including presentations at the HINTS Data Users Conference in October 2013. 

National Cancer Center / Cancer Institute and Hospital, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences (NCC/CICAMS) Annual Meeting 
Mark Parascandola participated and gave presentations on NCI’s international tobacco control work at the 2013 NCC/CICAMS Annual Meeting (organized by the National Cancer Center/ Cancer Institute and Hospital, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences) and at the First Sino-US Tobacco Control Forum for Cancer Institutions, in Beijing, China, on March 16 and 17, 2013. He also met with staff from the Tobacco Control Office, CICAMS, to discuss potential research collaborations and technical assistance to support the tobacco control capacity of CICAMs. Several research and information needs were identified and discussed, including research on tailored tobacco cessation treatments, differences in lung cancer type between men and women, tobacco use and attitudes among health professionals, effective communication of tobacco-related health information, effective communication of harms of low-tar cigarettes, strategies for smokefree hospitals, and public/private partnerships to promote smokefree workplaces.

IARC Section of Nutrition and Metabolism Reviewed at Lyon Meeting
Nancy Potischman was invited to travel to the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) Exit Disclaimer to assist the agency in making a comprehensive review of its Section of Nutrition and Metabolism (NME), which is headed by Isabelle Romieu. This in-depth, independent peer review is an essential part of ensuring the scientific quality of the agency’s activities and provides valuable advice to IARC Director Christopher Wild on future directions. During the 2-day meeting, held January 28-29, 2013, in Lyon, France, the Review Panel examined the past activities and future plans of the NME, discussed findings with Dr. Wild, and produced a written report with recommendations, which was presented to the IARC Scientific Council.

European Blood and Marrow Transplant Group – NCI
A workshop was held December 12, 2012, to consider collaborative research ideas on late effects of transplant, especially chronic graft-versus-host disease, for consideration for funding by the EU. Russell Glasgow, Sandy Mitchell, and Julia Rowland all participated.

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Upcoming Events

Cancer Control Highlighted at International Health Economics Congress, Australia
Nancy Breen organized a panel session for the upcoming 9th World Congress of the International Health Economics Association (IHEA) in Sydney, Australia, on July 7-10, 2013.  The title of the session is “Cancer Prevention and Control in the US:  Learning from the Past and Moving into the Future.” It will highlight findings from studies that explore cancer care utilization, costs, and access among vulnerable populations—defined as those who are least likely to obtain continuous, high-quality cancer care, including routine screening and test results and timely, high-quality treatment.

5th International Cancer Control Congress, Peru
Cindy Vinson is representing NCI on the planning committee for the 5th International Cancer Control Congress that will be held in Lima, Peru, November 3-6, 2013. She is serving as the co-chair for the session on integrating research, practice, and policy priorities to improve cancer control with Luis Santini from Brazil. Learn more at http://www.iccc5.com/. Exit Disclaimer

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Ongoing Global Health Projects

Canadian Institutes of Health (CPAC) Studies
Over a 4-month period, Stephen Taplin worked as a reviewer for the Canadian Institutes of Health on a set of grants examining models of team care. Exit Disclaimer This is a 32 million dollar effort to find team approaches that improve the quality of care delivery. As the final step in the review, Dr. Taplin participated in an online meeting where he served as a second reviewer of six proposals. Approximately five grants from among the more than 30 applicants received scores in the fundable range. The reviews were in two stages over 3 months so that applicants could respond to initial reviewer questions in their final application. The experience provided insight into alternative review processes and exciting innovation occurring in health care delivery outside the US context.

Reverse-site Visit Focuses on Cohort Data Management
The Chinese Families Cohort Study (CFCS) is a follow-up study of a cohort that began in the 1990s. The cohort includes women who were or were not exposed to folate during pregnancy, and their children. The follow-up study is examining childhood cancer incidence and biological and other risk factors for adult cancers. A reverse-site visit for the CFCS investigators involved in the pilot studies was held at NCI on April 15-19, 2013, with participating staff from the China CDC, Exit Disclaimer the US CDC in Atlanta and Beijing, Queensland University of Technology in Australia, Arizona State University, DCEG, DCP, the NIH Office of Dietary Supplements, and DCCPS (Nancy Potischman, David Berrigan, Joseph Su, Heather Bowles, and Amy Subar). The purpose of the reverse-site visit was to learn about data management procedures that have been utilized in China and discuss problems that occurred during field work, data quality checking, data entry, and data cleaning. Participants generated a list of action items, identified needed changes to future efforts, and agreed on next steps with the data cleaning and future analyses. In an effort to share information about best practices, NCI staff involved with Interactive Diet and Activity Tracking in AARP (iDATA), including Dr. Bowles, described their field and data management approaches; iDATA is a complex nutrition and physical activity assessment study within the NIH-AARP Diet and Health cohort study. Also at the reverse-site visit, Dr. Subar presented current diet assessment technologies available in the US, particularly those available from the NCI.

Update on Survey Methodology Reporting Collaboration
Gordon Willis has collaborated with Hennie Boeije at Utrecht University in the Netherlands to develop a common framework for reporting the results of survey questionnaire testing and evaluation: the “Cognitive Interviewing Reporting Framework” Exit Disclaimer (CIRF). Drs. Boeije and Willis have developed a special issue of the journal Methodology devoted to the CIRF, due to be published later in 2013.

China Smoking Cessation Program Using Text Messages
This project will assist in determining the potential effectiveness and acceptability of a health-based SMS (short message service) messaging program within China’s large population of smokers. If effective, test-based programs would provide a low-cost means to increase public education and knowledge on the harmful effects of smoking, and also to deliver a smoking cessation intervention. Data analysis is being conducted on the text message-based cessation project completed in Suzhou, China, which included approximately 1,600 smokers. The HHS-China MOH-Nokia text message-based smoking cessation project in China launched in April 2013. The two-arm randomized controlled trial of a cessation messaging program recruited more than 8,000 smokers in a single day and is progressing well. The study timeline includes 3-month post-treatment follow-up data (mid-September 2013) and 6-month follow-up data (December 2013).

NCI Collaborates with PAHO to Address Cervical Cancer in the Caribbean
EGRP’s Damali Martin is currently on detail at the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) in Washington, DC.  She is assisting PAHO in evaluating cervical cancer prevention and control programs and policies for the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) member states.  She will also assist in national plans to improve effectiveness in cervical cancer prevention and control in collaboration with Caribbean stakeholders.  In addition, Dr. Martin will be involved in developing a publication that provides an overview of cervical cancer in CARICOM member states, as well as a report on their ability to address cervical cancer within their health systems.

New EGRP Web Page for Global Health and Cancer Epidemiology
EGRP recently launched a web page that highlights the program's interests and activities in support of NCI's global health priorities in certain regions, such as Africa, the Caribbean, and China, as well as scientific areas with a global impact, such as infectious diseases and household air pollution. The EGRP web page also lists funding and training opportunities, information about EGRP- and NCI-sponsored global health workshops, research resources, and staff contacts for various cancer epidemiology and global health research areas.

Learn more about EGRP’s interests and activities in global health and epidemiology at https://epi.grants.cancer.gov/global-health/.

International Cancer Control Planning Partnership (ICCPP)
Cindy Vinson is working in collaboration with the Centers for Global Health to promote implementation science through national cancer planning efforts. A key initiative is the International Cancer Control Planning Partnership. For the first time, key international organizations have joined together to coordinate their efforts to support national cancer control plan development and implementation. The International Cancer Control Planning Partnership (ICCPP) (https://www.iccp-portal.org/), Exit Disclaimer formed in November 2012, is a group of organizations whose members were already individually working to support country cancer control planning efforts. Now, these organizations will work together on identified priorities to maximize their collective resources and avoid duplication of effort. The long-term outcome that the ICCPP is working towards is that all countries have and are implementing a quality cancer control plan, which is linked to a country’s non-communicable disease (NCD) control efforts. The ICCPP believes that prioritizing cancer is critical to reaching the voluntary goal within the Global Monitoring Framework on NCDs: a 25% reduction in premature mortality from cardiovascular diseases, cancer, diabetes or chronic respiratory diseases by 2025.

Understanding Cancer Survivorship in Latin America: The Cases of Mexico and Brazil
Julia Rowland is serving as a member of the Technical Advisory Committee for this Mexican Health Foundation-funded project being led by Felicia Knaul at Harvard. The overall goal of the project is to conceptualize and develop policy and advocacy responses to the emerging challenge and opportunity for survivorship in Latin America. As a first step, the investigators will seek to examine the definition of “cancer survivor” in these two populations and the unmet needs of cancer survivors and their families posttreatment.

The Breast Health Global Initiative (BHGI)
Julia Rowland continues to work with BHGI colleagues on draft guidelines for components of survivorship care for countries with different levels of economic resources.

NCI-Ireland-Northern Ireland Collaboration
Julia Rowland served as a consultant to Irish colleagues to develop a research grant application for the Irish Cancer Society entitled “Patient Reported Outcomes in Cancer Survivorship: The Patient Experience of Living Through and Beyond Cancer in Ireland.” The group is awaiting word of funding status.

Breast Intergroup-North American Breast Group (BIG-NABG) Survivorship Working Group
This group, which includes Julia Rowland, finalized their first Core Baseline Questionnaire in spring 2013. Designed to systematically capture sociodemographic, medical (including height and weight, menstrual history, and medical conditions), as well as behavioral (e.g., tobacco use, activity level, alcohol use) and quality-of-life status, it is hoped that these data-capture forms will become a regular part of all clinical trials conducted among breast cancer patients.