Ongoing Global Health Projects
Raising Awareness of NCI’s Technical Assistance Efforts in China
A news article titled "No Smoking, Please" in Business Now, a magazine sponsored by the American Chamber of Commerce in the People’s Republic of China, covered NCI's ongoing technical assistance efforts in China. The article noted renewed pressure for smoke-free workplace programs following Beijing's new smoke-free law and discussions at the most recent round of the US-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue. Members of the Tobacco Control Research Branch continue to work with staff from China Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Health and Family Planning Commission to implement training programs that support smoke-free workplaces and access to tobacco-cessation services. In addition to being quoted in the article, Mark Parascandola met with China-US Smokefree Workplace partners in Beijing in October 2015.
Global Environmental and Occupational Health (GEOHealth)
The Fogarty International Center, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, and National Cancer Institute of NIH, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Canada’s International Development Research Centre have partnered on a new initiative focused on creating a multinational network of regional Global Environmental and Occupational Health (GEOHealth) science hubs that will support the development of leading institutions in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC) to serve as regional leaders in collaborative research, data management, training, curriculum development, and policy support. A GEOHealth Hub is a multidisciplinary group of researchers and their institutions based in an LMIC, who, along with their collaborators, focus on a core set of common research and research training topics that address environmental and/or occupational health priorities in the LMIC or region. A GEOHealth Hub is composed of 1) a LMIC institution for environmental and/or occupational research and 2) a US institution to coordinate research training. There are seven regionally diverse hubs that together make up the GEOHealth Network. Gary Ellison is NCI’s scientific contact for GEOHealth. He and Damali Martin participated in the Virtual GEOHealth Inaugural Network Meeting that took place on Tuesday, December 15, 2015. This meeting 1) launched the GEOHealth Program by introducing GEOHealth awardees to each other and to program staff of funding partners; 2) provided a forum for GEOHealth awardees to share their GEOHealth Hub plans and discuss needs and opportunities; and 3) discussed GEOHealth program goals and expectations and provided information on NIH administrative processes and available resources.
Dietary Assessment Tools Network Partnership
In September 2015, Amy Subar participated in the first Advisory Group meeting of the Dietary Assessment Tools Network Partnership (DIET@NET). The DIET@NET Partnership, funded by the UK’s Medical Research Council, aims to improve the quality, consistency, and comparability of dietary data collected in epidemiological and clinical studies. It will develop four resources:
- Establish new standards for collecting, analyzing, and reporting studies assessing diet.
- Create an interactive website hosting validated dietary assessment tools (DAT-library) and an e-algorithm to aid tool selection.
- Expand and improve the existing UK food composition tables.
- Create an online interface between dietary assessment tools and food composition tables.
Dr. Subar will participate in several meetings each year. The DIET@NET website is expected to launch at the end of 2016.
DCCPS Staff Review Applications from Six WHO Regions
In July 2015, a number of DCCPS staff served as reviewers for supplements to NCI-Designated Cancer Centers to promote cancer prevention and control research in low- and middle-income countries. Reviewers included Brenda Edwards, Damali Martin, Mark Parascandola, Cindy Vinson, Stephen Taplin, Gila Nita, Julia Rowland, Sarah Kobrin, Tram Lam, Suzanne Heurtin-Roberts, Divi Rao, Janet de Moor, Carol Kosary, and Melissa Rotunno. DCCPS staff provided over one third of the NCI technical reviews for the 39 applications that came from all six WHO regions; funded grants will support US collaborations with researchers in Guatemala, Tanzania, El Salvador, Western Honduras, Mexico, South Africa, Nepal, Jordan, and the Federated States of Micronesia.
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Global Health Research and Training Initiatives
AORTIC 2015: 10th International Conference on Cancer in Africa
NCI’s Center for Global Health (CGH) sponsored a science and grant writing workshop on November 18-19, 2015. 30 beginning investigators who are living and working in Africa participated in this training. The training provided participants the opportunity to develop grant writing and scientific peer-review publication writing skills to become strong, independent researchers within their fields of study. Cindy Vinson and Mark Parascandola gave presentations on publishing and its impact on the first day of the workshop. The CGH also hosted a 1-day pre-conference workshop on Dissemination and Implementation (D&I) Research for Cancer Control in Africa on November 19th. This workshop was designed to provide an introduction to the field of D&I, and lay the groundwork for developing D&I research proposals. Dr. Vinson gave an introductory presentation on D&I as well as presentations on D&I models and strategies and D&I research funding. Finally, during the AORTIC conference, NCI organized a luncheon session on November 21st. Dr. Vinson provided one of three talks and focused on D&I research funding.
Nutrition Exchange Day
NCI hosted a group of 25 doctoral students on October 19, 2015, from the Division of Human Nutrition, Wageningen University, the Netherlands, to exchange scientific knowledge and stimulate innovative research collaborations in the field of human nutrition. Susan Krebs-Smith, of DCCPS’ Epidemiology and Genomics Research Program (EGRP), and Guido Hooiveld, of Wagenginen University, provided introductions to begin the “Nutrition Exchange Day” at NCI Shady Grove. EGRP speakers included Amy Subar, Nancy Potischman (currently on detail to NCI’s Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics [DCEG]), Richard Troiano, Jill Reedy, and Krista Zanetti. Presentations were also given by visitors from Wageningen University. Additionally, interactive discussions were held on several topics, including dietary assessment and measurement error by Drs. Subar and Fran Thompson of EGRP; biomarkers by Drs. Potischman and Gabriel Lai, both from EGRP, and Stephanie Weinstein of DCEG; metabolomics by EGRP’s Dr. Zanetti and DCEG’s Mary Playdon; omics by Sharon Ross of the Division of Cancer Prevention; physical activity by Dr. Troiano; spatial and contextual influences on energy balance by the Behavioral Research Program’s David Berrigan and April Oh; and dietary patterns by EGRP’s Drs. Reedy and Maggie Wilson.
Workshop on Cancer Registries. EIS (Epidemiology Intelligence Service) Program in Delhi, India
Brenda Edwards was invited by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to serve as one of three faculty for a 2-day training course on cancer registry methods for their EIS (Epidemiology Intelligence Service) Program in India. Approximately 20 EIS participants from three cohorts, as well as members of the India Public Health Center, attended the workshop. The course content was a blend of materials developed by the CDC, the International Agency for Research on Cancer, the International Association for Cancer Registries, and material developed by Dr. Rajesh Dikshit, Professor of Epidemiology at Tata Memorial Centre in Mumbai, India. The workshop included facilitated discussions and sessions on assessing quality of registry data. The meetings included lively interactions regarding major public health issues in India, governmental programs and policies, barriers and challenges.
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Tobacco Control in the African Continent: Research to Practice Pre-Conference Workshop at the African Organization for Research and Training in Cancer (AORTIC) Conference
The Tobacco Control Research Branch (TCRB) and the Center for Global Health, in partnership with the World Health Organization Regional Office for Africa (WHO AFRO), the Centre for Tobacco Control in Africa (CTCA), and the Mayo Clinic, organized a daylong, pre-conference workshop on November 19, 2015, in Marrakesh, Morocco. Building on previously proposed recommendations for implementing the major Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) articles in lower- and middle- income countries, this workshop aimed to explore current tobacco-control efforts across Africa and identify research and dissemination science efforts that will advance practices and policies that are most feasible and most responsive to African countries’ needs. Mark Parascandola attended alongside researchers from Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Presentations highlighted the challenges of conducting tobacco-control research in Africa, as well as the wide range of ongoing research projects and existing data. A recurring theme was the need for better collaboration among African researchers in order to exchange findings and best practices. Key areas for future research focus included changes in tobacco use among adolescents and women, analysis of diverse tobacco products, effective cessation interventions for low-resource environments and for users of non-cigarette products, the economic impact of tobacco use, crop alternatives for farmers, and strategies for working with the tobacco industry.
9th World Congress on the Developmental Origins of Health and Disease
Somdat Mahabir gave a talk on efforts to advance research focused on early life factors and cancer development at the 9th World Congress on the Developmental Origins of Health and Disease (DOHAD), held in Cape Town, South Africa, November 8-11, 2015. DOHAD is the top international organization focused on the role of early life factors in health and disease.
Taiwan Global Health Forum
Mark Parascandola spoke at the 2015 Taiwan Global Health Forum on “Public Health Governance” held November 1-2, 2015, in Taipei, Taiwan. Dr. Parascandola presented "Smokeless Tobacco and Public Health: A Global Perspective." He also met with Ministry of Health and Welfare staff and other experts to discuss potential areas for collaboration on tobacco control and oral cancer and made plans for a workshop on betel quid to be hosted by NCI in 2016. As part of this trip, Dr. Parascandola also gave a talk at Hunan Cancer Hospital in Changsha, China, and spoke with researchers and clinical staff there about smokeless tobacco and areca nut use and cancer.
22nd Annual Conference of the International Society for Quality of Life Research
The 22nd Annual Conference of the International Society for Quality of Life Research (ISOQOL ) was held October 21-24, 2015, in Vancouver, Canada. The theme of the conference this year was “The Matrix: Quality of Life in a Social Context” and focused on the social dimensions of quality of life. Plenary sessions included talks on the social determinants of health and quality of life, new models and measures of the social dimensions, and the use of social media and social connections in research and clinical practice. Several DCCPS-funded investigators were among the speakers. Marjorie Kagawa Singer (UCLA) reported on the need to focus on cultural determinants of health outcomes. Reginald Tucker-Seeley (Dana-Farber Cancer Institute) presented his work developing measures of financial hardship across the cancer control continuum. Members of DCCPS staff who attended this year’s meeting included Ashley Wilder Smith, Sandy Mitchell, and Erin Kent. Along with Ron Hays (UCLA), Dr. Kent presented current and future research opportunities with two DCCPS-funded data linkages that link SEER cancer registry data with patient-reported outcomes and experiences with care, the SEER-MHOS and SEER-CAHPS data linkages. Dr. Mitchell co-authored a plenary podium presentation entitled "A Cluster-Randomized Study of Clinician-Patient Shared vs. Standard Reporting of Symptomatic Adverse Events using PRO-CTCAE Nested in a Multicenter Trial of Multimodal Therapy for Rectal Cancer," and held meetings with international PRO-CTCAE adopters from The Netherlands, Canada, and Denmark.
DCCPS Hosts Delegation from French National Cancer Institute
Julia Rowland served as the DCCPS host for a visit by a delegation from the French National Cancer Institute (INCa), which took place October 8, 2015, at Shady Grove. DCCPS participants included Bob Croyle, Debbie Winn, Bill Klein, David Chambers, Britt Reid, and Linda Nebeling. The meeting was designed to provide information about cancer control activities here at NCI and identify potential opportunities for collaborations with colleagues in France.
2015 International Association of Cancer Registries (IACR) Scientific Conference, Mumbai, India
As the NCI liaison to the International Association of Cancer Registries (IACR), Brenda Edwards participated in the Annual Scientific Conference held in Mumbai, India, on October 7-10, 2015. Brenda served as a member of the scientific program committee for selection of oral presentations, was co-moderator of a plenary session, chaired the 12-member poster judging committee (six two-member teams reviewing almost 100 posters), co-authored a contributed presentation on "Building Capacity for Cancer Surveillance Worldwide-Interagency Collaboration and Public/Private Partnerships," and attended an ad-hoc meeting of the Concord 2 Survival Study steering committee. Brenda completes her term on the IACR Executive Board (currently non-voting Past President). The 2015 meeting had more than 220 participants from all five continents and over 25 countries attending the 3.5 day scientific conference hosted by Tata Memorial Centre/Tata Memorial Hospital. The 2015 theme was “Cancer Registries for Cancer Action,” with special emphasis on cancer registration and control in low- and middle-income countries. There was significant participation from the 40 registries in India as well as in other Asian countries. Two free pre-conference workshops were available to many of these participants: (a) CanReg5 and (b) Examining Solutions for Cancer Registration in Low- and Middle-Income Countries: Costing, advocacy and reporting, including cancer survival follow-up and IARC's plans regarding SURVCAN3. The Minister of Health for Maharashtra presided over an opening evening session in which he brought attention to tobacco control actions and to the American Cancer Society's release of The Cancer Atlas, 2nd edition for India.
6th World Congress on Biotechnology
Mukesh Verma represented the NIH Common Fund Epigenomics Program at the 6th World Congress on Biotechnology in New Delhi, India, October 5-7, 2015. Dr. Verma gave the Keynote Address, "Cancer Control by Integrating Epigenomics and Genomics: Are We Ready for the Prime Time?” He also organized a workshop on NIH research resources in biotechnology. Immediately following this conference, Dr. Verma gave a talk on October 8th, also in New Delhi, on “Liquid Biopsies and Epigenetics in Cancer Etiology, Diagnosis, and Prognosis” at the UNESCO Regional Center for Biotechnology. On October 9th, Dr. Verma visited the CSIR Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology (CSIR-IGIB), New Delhi, to discuss inflammation biomarkers and cancer etiology and gave a talk on epigenetic and genetic approaches in controlling cancer.
5th International Breast Cancer Prevention Symposium
Tanya Agurs-Collins was invited to give a presentation at the 5th International Breast Cancer Prevention Symposium (IBCN) held on October 2-3, 2015, in Le Gosier, Guadeloupe. Her talk was titled “Genetics, Eating Behaviors and Obesity: Implications for Breast Cancer Prevention.” The rationale for the project and the symposium was that primary prevention of breast cancer is a global public health challenge that requires a multidisciplinary approach, a global pool of patients, a contribution from scientists, clinicians, and advocates, and a sustained international effort.
23rd Asia Pacific Cancer Conference 2015, Denpasar, Indonesia
NCI was a co-organizer and faculty for a 1-day pre-conference workshop, Planning and Developing Population-Based Cancer Registries (PBCRs). Brenda Edwards and Freddie Bray, Head of the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) Cancer Surveillance Section, delivered lectures on implementing PBCRs and on the role of registries in cancer research and cancer control. Following the workshop, they were engaged in consultative discussions with cancer registry directors who had made a presentation on the current status of registries in Indonesia. The workshop objectives were to address Indonesia’s need for better data, how PBCRs inform cancer control planning and reporting of cancer rates and trends, and the role of cancer registries for health planning and research. Participants included 30-50 pathologists, clinicians, registrars, and medical doctors from Indonesia (Yogjakarta, Jakarta, Bandung, Bali, Makassar). During the 23rd Asia Pacific Cancer Conference, held August 20-22, 2015, in Denpasar, Indonesia, Dr. Edwards gave a plenary talk titled Challenges in Establishing National Cancer Control Program in Developed and Developing Countries, and during the Symposium 7 session a talk titled Research Data in Cancer Control. The meeting provided a very good opportunity for networking with the global community on population science and cancer control research.
Task Force on Assessment of PBCRs Capability in Indonesia (Yogyakarta and Jakarta)
Brenda Edwards joined Freddie Bray, of the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), as a member of the technical task force formed to conduct an assessment of cancer registry systems in Indonesia. Special training workshops on cancer registration in Yogyakarta and in Jakarta were held in conjunction with these visits. The schedule was arranged by Kalina Duncan, NCI Center for Global, who has traveled extensively in Indonesia and had a 4-month assignment in 2015 with the Indonesian Ministry of Health. Members of the delegation held meetings with high-level medical officers, government leaders, and advisory groups responsible for implementing Indonesia's National Cancer Control Plan, including key participants of their National Cancer Control Committee. The team reviewed their current plans and approaches, noting there was a need to move directly to a population-based approach to data collection while concurrently building integrated data systems for cancer patient data within their respective hospital systems. Findings from the Task Force visit will inform NCI's Center for Global Health and IARC regarding funding and technical assistance priorities for the next few years.
Annual Asia-Pacific Quitline Network Meeting held in Shanghai, China
As the HHS/NCI representative, Erik Augustson attended the Asia-Pacific Quitline Network (APQN) meeting on August 5-7, 2015, in Shanghai, China. In an invited talk, he presented ways to integrate mobile health and social media into quitline services in order to broaden the reach and sustainability of quitline services in the region. In addition, Dr. Augustson met with attendees to discuss technical, developmental, and implementation challenges. While there, he also had the opportunity to tour the China Cessation Quitline Call Center. A number of the more established quitline programs have also now integrated SMS-text messaging cessation programs into their available clinical services. The programs are all based on the SmokefreeTXT program developed and used at NCI.
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