DCCPS International Activities

May 2014

In This Issue

Noteworthy Reports

Meeting Reports

Upcoming Events

Ongoing Global Health Projects

Global Health Research and Training Initiative

Mark Parascandola, PhD, MPH
DCCPS International Research Coordinator

Noteworthy Reports

International Encyclopedia of Health Communication
Brad Hesse is currently serving as an editor for the International Encyclopedia of Health Communication, along with K. “Vish” Viswanath (Harvard), Peter Schulz (University of Lugano, Switzerland), and Nancy Harrington (University of Kentucky).  The team is currently finalizing the list of headwords from which invitations will be issued to an international list of authors.  The editors met for the first time in fall in Washington DC, and are scheduled to reconvene in fall at the University of Lugano.  Most of the writing assignments will be completed in 2014-2015, with completion scheduled for early 2016.

Update on Survey Methodology Reporting Collaboration
Gordon Willis has worked with Hennie Boeije at Utrecht University to develop a common framework developed to report results of questionnaire testing and evaluation: Cognitive Interviewing Reporting Framework (CIRF).  A manuscript describing the CIRF has been published in a special issue: Boeije H and Willis G. The Cognitive Interviewing Reporting Framework (CIRF):  Towards the harmonization of cognitive interviewing reports. Methodology: European Journal of Research Methods for the Behavioral and Social Sciences. 2013; 9(3): 87-95.  doi: 10.1027/1614-2241/a000075. Exit Disclaimer

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Meeting Reports

Health Information and Surveillance Systems in the Americas,
Brenda Edwards worked with Isabel Otero (NCI Center for Global Health) and other partners from the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI), and several experts advisers to convene a workshop on April 15-16, 2014 at PAHO in Washington, DC.  The 2-day agenda was developed to engage invited experts in public health, research, and policy in a substantive discussion on key needs, implementation strategies, and how we can work together. Objectives of the workshop were 1) to clarify and agree on the contribution of information systems and science to support non-communicable disease (NCD) surveillance components, basic infrastructure, knowledge; 2) to identify current advances in the Americas by country and leading institutions that could help as models in future development programs; and 3) to determine how leading institutions can jointly further develop and improve the integration of their systems to support NCD and other health surveillance.  A report is expected by the end of summer with a description of selected opportunities for NIH (NCI, NHLBI, etc.), CDC, PAHO, other governmental agencies, and the private sector to work together on building information systems to improve non-communicable disease surveillance.

Cancer Surveillance in the Caribbean Meeting
NCI, in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), International Association of Cancer Registries (IARC), Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), Northern US Command (NORTHCOM), and the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) held the Cancer Surveillance in the Caribbean meeting on April 29-30, 2014. The goal of the meeting was to stimulate the strengthening of cancer registration and collaborative research in the Caribbean, to encourage the strategic use of information on national cancer control plans and programs, and to discuss strategies for moving forward.  This meeting represented a joint effort of stakeholders in the Caribbean and US to address challenges and opportunities for cancer surveillance in the region.  Damali Martin and Adrienne Overton are working on the meeting on behalf of NCI and the Center for Global Health (CGH).

CICAMS Annual Meeting
The 2014 National Cancer Center (NCC) Annual Conference, organized by the National Cancer Center, Cancer Institute and Hospital, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences (CICAMS), and Peking Union Medical College was held in Beijing, China, on April 19, 2014. As in previous years, the conference was co‐organized with NCI (CGH) to highlight international progress and achievements in the field of oncology. Mark Parascandola gave an invited presentation on NCI’s work on tobacco control in China.

Southeast Asia Leadership Forum
Cynthia Vinson served as faculty and facilitator at the Southeast Asia Leadership Forum held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, March 31 to April 2, 2014, sponsored by NCI’s Center for Global Health.  The forum brought together country teams sectors from Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand, Myanmar, and the Philippines to learn about planning and implementation of evidence-based national cancer plans.  The country teams consisted of five to 10 leaders from government, academia, and non-governmental organizations.  Presentations, including by Eric (Rocky) Feuer on NCI’s Cancer Intervention and Surveillance Modeling Network (CISNET), were given on partnership development, data and evaluation, and implementation of national cancer plans.  The country teams participated in group discussions to learn about successes and barriers for developing and implementing national cancer plans and worked within their country teams to develop action plans for moving their cancer planning efforts forward for the next 6 to 12 months.  

4th Latin American and Caribbean Conference on Tobacco or Health
The 4th Latin American and Caribbean Conference on Tobacco or Health, March 26-28, 2014, in San José, Costa Rica, and organized by the Ministry of Health of Costa Rica and the InterAmerican Heart Foundation, brought together tobacco control scientists, treatment specialists, and policy advocates from the Latin American region and beyond, to share and apply the latest evidence to strengthen treatment protocols, research approaches, and implementation of tobacco control measures throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. The Tobacco Control Research Branch’s (TCRB’s) scientific portfolio contains a significant amount of international tobacco control research, some of which is focused on this region.  Annette Kaufman spoke at the preconference workshop, “Strengthening Tobacco Control Research,” where she provided an overview of the National Institutes of Health and NCI outlook on global tobacco control. She also presented at two sessions: “Tobacco Control Research Priorities” and “Electronic Cigarettes and Other New Products.”

China US Workplace Initiative (CUSW) Training Workshops
Mark Parascandola co-led the first of three training workshops for member companies of the China-US Workplace Partnership in Beijing March 19, 2014. The workshop was hosted at the offices of SOHU.com, one of the founding companies of CUSW. Dr. Parascandola also led a discussion on the health effects of secondhand smoke exposure and the benefits to employers of implementing workplaces. Two additional workshops were held in April for companies in Shenzhen and Qingdao.

WHO-ITU Mobile Wellness
Heather Patrick and Erik Augustson attended the World Health Organization (WHO) Mobile Wellness (mWellness) meeting in Los Angeles, California, on February 5-7, 2014. The focus of this meeting was to begin creating a Planning Implementation Document, which WHO and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) will use to guide the development and launch of a number of mWellness projects. At this time, WHO-ITU projects are supporting up to eight mWellness projects in 2014, which will address a variety of health behaviors. Dr. Patrick was named to the writing group, which is responsible for drafting and finalizing the Planning Implementation Document to be used across the mWellness behavioral domains.

WHO Smoking Cessation mHealth
During the mWellness meeting in Los Angeles, California, Erik Augustson convened a meeting of the mCessation group. In addition to mCessation experts from the US, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom, Heather Patrick was added to this group as a co-chair and liaison to other mWellness working groups. The group has finalized a draft of the smoking cessation mHealth Planning Implementation Document and will be sharing it with representatives from WHO and ITU to begin the clearance process.

European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) Cancer Survivorship Summit
Catherine Alfano attended the 1st EORTC Cancer Survivorship Summit held January 30-31, 2014, in Brussels, Belgium, where she gave a talk calling for building a global partnership to answer novel research questions needed to build a comprehensive and patient-centered model of survivorship care.  The meeting brought together physicians, nurses, psychologists, social workers, survivors and advocates, bankers and insurers, government agencies, politicians, payers, and pharmaceutical industry representatives to address the needs of cancer survivors.

Canadian Cancer Society Research Institute Prevention Workshop
Rachel Ballard-Barbash serves on the Development Committee of the Canadian Cancer Society Research Institute (CCSRI).The CCSRI Development Committee has planned a series of prevention workshops, the first of which was held on January 22-23, 2014, in Toronto, Ontario.  Its purpose was to bring together prevention leaders within CCS, research leaders who are partners of the CCS, and external policy/program individuals to focus on relationship building and opportunities for research-program-policy collaboration, and to begin to build a national CCS prevention network.

International Cancer Research Funders Meeting
Mark Parascandola helped develop the tobacco control agenda for the International Cancer Research Funders Meeting, January 13-14, 2014, in Paris, France, and accompanied NCI Director Harold Varmus and other NCI staff. One key outcome of the meeting was the creation of a Working Group on Global Tobacco Control and Cancer Research, with participation from NCI, Cancer Research UK, and others. The group was charged with developing a plan of activities over the next 2 years and producing a shared statement on tobacco control and cancer. Dr. Parascandola will support this effort.

World Health Organization (WHO) Committee on Electronic Health
As the Chair of the WHO Smoking Cessation Mobile Health (mCessation) Subcommittee, Erik Augustson attended and served as a technical advisor for the meeting of the eHealth Committee in Geneva, Switzerland, December 11-13, 2013. Dr. Augustson has been named co-chair to the eHealth Initiatives Working Group and will provide feedback and technical assistance for WHO-sponsored intervention-focused ehealth projects.

Folate Exposure Study with China CDC
Nancy Potischman traveled to China December 6-12, 2013, to discuss progress regarding several aspects of the Folate Exposure Study research effort, which is examining childhood cancer incidence and biological and other risk factors for adult cancers; the cohort includes women who were or were not exposed to folate during pregnancy, and their children. The main focus of the meeting was on plans and current analytical data for papers that will be forthcoming from the pilot data. There were presentations and discussions about the priority papers from two pilot studies and about data management issues. Attendees included collaborators from the China CDC National Center for Chronic and Noncommunicable Disease Control and Prevention and Institute for Nutrition and Food Safety, the US CDC, Queensland University of Technology Exit Disclaimer in Australia, NCI’s Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, and NCI’s Center for Global Health.  The US contingent also had a meeting with the Director and Deputy Director of the China CDC and the leadership from the Center for Chronic and Noncommunicable Disease Control and Prevention regarding progress and future plans.

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Upcoming Events

Annual Meeting of the International Society for Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity
The annual meeting of the International Society for Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity (ISBNPA) Exit Disclaimer will be held in San Diego, California, on May 21-24, 2014.  Workshops at this year’s meeting will include “GPS in Health Research 101 – Getting Started Using GPS” and “Recruiting Organizational Settings into Diet and Physical Activity Intervention Studies:  Lessons Learned from Experienced Researchers and Innovative Settings.” Britni Belcher will be attending and speaking about her work on the temporal patterns of accelerometer-measured physical activity in 2003-2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) youth. TusaRebecca Schap will also attend and will learn more about topics including food access research and food policy.

Cancer and Primary Care Research International Network Annual Meeting
Carrie Klabunde will present a paper, “Oncologists’ Perspective on Post-Cancer Treatment Communication and Care Coordination with Primary Care Physicians,” at the Cancer and Primary Care Research International Network Exit Disclaimer (Ca-PRI) annual meeting Exit Disclaimer in Winnipeg, Manitoba, on June 10-12, 2014.

2014 NAACCR and IACR Annual Conferences
In June 2014, the North American Association of Central Cancer Registries (NAACCR) and the International Association of Cancer Registries (IACR) will co-sponsor an unprecedented educational opportunity by bringing together the world leaders in cancer surveillance.  The joint meeting will be held in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, and combines the NAACCR (June 21-26) and the IACR (June 25-28) annual conferences. The symposium was developed by and for cancer surveillance professionals to learn about the latest trends, acquire new skills, share research findings, improve public health, and support a variety of cancer research endeavors. The shared theme is “Capitalizing on Cancer Surveillance Data for Improved Cancer Control.”, and highlights five categories: cancer epidemiology, data standardization, statistical methods, challenges in special populations, and comparative effectiveness.  The organizers’ objective is to convene scientific world leaders to demonstrate advances in research and methods in cancer surveillance and discuss methods to improve comparability and utility of data globally.  A special international networking opportunity meeting is scheduled to begin a structured discussion on approaches for registries seeking or providing mentorship to others, notably among emerging cancer registry development in low and middle income countries and experienced registries such as the NAACCR members.

International Science of Team Science Conference
The 5th International Science of Team Science Conference Exit Disclaimer will be held on August 6-8, 2014, in Austin, Texas. Kara Hall is serving as conference chair, and members of the NCI SciTS team (Grace Huang, Brooke Stipelman, Amanda Vogel, Martine Bottalico, and Julia Michaloski) will be presenting at the conference. The SciTS conference is an international multi-agency forum dedicated to the science of team science, bringing together thought leaders from a broad range of disciplines, fields, and professions, including translational research, evaluation, communication, social and behavioral sciences, complex systems, technology, and management. The SciTS conference serves as a point of convergence for team science practitioners and investigators studying teams, engages funding agency program staff to guide and manage team science initiatives, and affords data providers and analytics developers insight into team tracking and analysis needs.

Society for Medical Decision Making Annual Conference
The 36th Annual North American Meeting of the Society for Medical Decision Making Exit Disclaimer will take place in Miami, Florida, from October 18 to 22, 2014. This year’s conference theme is “Medical Decision Making among Diverse Populations: Advancing Practice, Policy and Science.”  Miho Tanaka serves as International Liaison of the Scientific Review Co-chairs for the annual meeting planning committee. Her role as International Liaison is to disseminate information about the upcoming North America meeting to researchers outside of the US and to encourage their participation as presenters and pre-conference course instructors.

UICC World Cancer Congress
Stephen Taplin is working with the Programme Committee for the 2014 UICC World Cancer Congress in Melbourne, Australia, and is co-chair for a series of talks in Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment. Ted Trimble of NCI’s Center for Global Health will be a sub-plenary speaker regarding the ethics of research in low-resource settings. The meeting will be held December 3-6, 2014.

International Cancer Screening Network Meeting in 2015
The scientific program for the next International Cancer Screening Network (ICSN) meeting is being developed. The meeting is co-chaired by Carrie Klabunde and Harry de Koning (Erasmus Medical Center), and will be held on June 2-4, 2015, in the Netherlands. DCCPS staff involved in the planning effort include Carrie Klabunde, Paul Doria-Rose, Stephen Taplin, Cheryl Deaguiar, and Samantha Williams. The meeting will bring together experts in cancer screening delivery and evaluation from around the world to discuss timely issues and topics in breast, cervical, colorectal, prostate, and lung cancer screening.

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Ongoing Global Health Projects

Trans-NIH Clean Cookstoves Initiative
Gila Neta is working with Fogarty International Center (FIC) to develop an Implementation Science Network and possible RFA to better understand and improve adoption and use of clean cookstoves internationally, as part of the Trans-NIH Clean Cookstoves Initiative. Josh Rosenthal at FIC is the lead. Britt Reid, who has been the NCI contact on the initiative, recently engaged Dr. Neta’s expertise because of the recent interest in implementation science within the Clean Cookstoves Initiative to look at adoption and use issues.

Global Environmental and Occupational Health Program
The Fogarty International Center (FIC), in partnership with the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) and CDC’s National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), launched a program to support the development of leading institutions in the developing world that serve as regional hubs for collaborative research, data management, training, curriculum development, and policy support. The Global Environmental and Occupational Health (GEOHealth) program was developed to address the need to build a critical mass of first-class scientists in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) with support and recognition from national governments. A GEOHealth Network meeting was held February 25-26, 2014, at NIH that brought together GEOHealth planning grantees to share accomplishments and challenges, discuss collaborative opportunities, interact with NIH staff and representatives from GEOHealth funding partners, and learn about other relevant opportunities. Damali Martin provided opening remarks on behalf of NCI and Gary Ellison moderated a scientific session on LMIC challenges and opportunities in environmental and occupational health knowledge synthesis, with a focus on data sharing, access, integration, and management. It is likely that lessons learned from the meeting would be helpful in developing an anticipated full GEOHealth Hub program.

China Smoking Cessation Program using Text Messages
The China Smoking Cessation Program using Text Messages project will assist in determining the potential effectiveness and acceptability of a health-based short message service (SMS) messaging program within China’s large population of smokers. If effective, text-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. Two projects have been completed. The first was a two-arm trial in collaboration with a team from Emory University that occurred in conjunction with an annual Quit Smoking Context in the city of Suzhou. Approximately 650 smokers received cessation text messages as part of the contest while a control group did not. The second project was a collaboration between HHS, China Ministry of Health (MOH), and Nokia. The two-arm randomized control trial of a smoking cessation text messaging program was launched in April 2013 and recruited over 8,000 smokers in a single day. The study included 3-month and 6-month follow-up assessments, with data collection completed in December 2013. The data from both studies support the use of mobile health (mHealth) as a means to deliver smoking cessation treatment. A third study in China, again in collaboration with the team from Emory, is underway exploring the possible benefit of including cessation text messages as part of an intervention to reduce secondhand smoke exposure in infants.

China-US Workplace Partnership
The 2010 China Global Adult Tobacco Survey showed that 63% of people reported exposure to second-hand smoke in the workplace within the past 30 days. On August 18, 2012, the governments of China and the US issued a Joint Statement initiating a partnership “to help companies to establish 100% smoke-free workplaces and create a supportive atmosphere [for] tobacco control efforts.” China’s Center for Disease Control is the lead agency in China for implementation of the initiative, and NCI has provided substantial technical assistance throughout the process. Participation in the initiative has grown to a list of over 275 companies. NCI has also played a key role in developing training materials and workshops to assist companies in implementing smoke-free policies and programs and is also assisting in evaluating the program’s impact. In March 2014 the US Embassy in Beijing kicked off its own smoking cessation program for embassy staff, including use of NCI’s text messaging-based cessation tools in English and Mandarin. Mark Parascandola is spending 3 months in Beijing on an Embassy Science Fellowship during spring 2013 to provide support to the China-US Workplace Partnership.

DCCPS Collaborates to Translate and Validate PRO-CTCAE into German and Chinese
Sandra Mitchell and Kate Castro are collaborating with investigators at the University of Basel in Switzerland and the National University of Singapore Exit Disclaimer to develop and preliminarily validate language translations of the Patient-Reported Outcomes version of the Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events (PRO-CTCAE) item library. The German language version of PRO-CTCAE has been linguistically validated by investigators at the University of Basel in collaboration with Outcomes Research Branch staff, and a publication reporting the results of that validation effort and the development of a transplant survivor-specific PRO-CTCAE item bundle is in preparation.

The branch is also collaborating with a team at the University of Bonn to conduct a quantitative validation study of the PRO-CTCAE German version.  Study accrual (patients with solid tumors receiving cancer treatment) is complete and branch staff are participating in data analysis and manuscript preparation.  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 Technology Transfer Center (TTC), branch staff can distribute the translated item libraries to other national and international investigators who are interested in using PRO-CTCAE in their studies.

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Global Health Research and Training Initiatives

Master’s Course in Implementation Science
Cynthia Vinson is collaborating with Sudha Sivaram, of NCI’s Center for Global Health, on a Master’s Course in Implementation Science that will be delivered in conjunction with the World Cancer Congress in Melbourne, Australia, in December 2014. This Masters Course is targeted at investigators from low- and middle-income countries working in cancer prevention and control. It will provide an introduction to the field of implementation science and lay the groundwork for developing implementation science research proposals. The duration of the training will be from June to October 2014, and the content will be delivered in six webinars in this time period. The course will culminate in a full-day meeting before the Congress starts on December 3rd. Registration for the course is currently open for individuals that will be attending the congress.

Fogarty International Center FOA on “Mobile Health: Technology and Outcomes in Low- and Middle-Income Countries”
The Behavioral Research Program is participating with the Fogarty International Center on a funding opportunity announcement for applications in mobile health aimed at improving health outcomes in low- and middle-income countries (PAR-14-028).  Fogarty received 88 applications on February 19 as the first round of applications were received.  Review will be scheduled for spring, with awards being made in time for September Council.

USAID and NIH Partnerships for Enhanced Engagement in Research (PEER) Health
USAID and NIH Partnerships for Enhanced Engagement in Research (PEER) Health Exit Disclaimer supports developing country researchers in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) and has a focus on “implementation science.” Partner agencies include NIH, CDC, Department of State, and Department of Defense. NCI participated in the Cycle 2 (2014) solicitations for Philippines and Indonesia with an interest in funding research on tobacco use in relation to tuberculosis and maternal and child health. The period for submitting concept notes for these solicitations closed March 15. The steering committee will be reviewing concept notes over the next few weeks before proceeding to the next level of review.

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Please visit the DCCPS website for information on funding opportunities and history and trends in international and global health research. Archives of past issues of this newsletter are also available online