Ongoing Global Health Projects
Guest Researcher Focuses on International Surveillance Research Projects
Gonçalo Forjaz de Lacerda has joined the Surveillance Research Program as a Guest Researcher with research awards from Fulbright and Luso-American Development Foundation. Dr. Forjaz de Lacerda has 9 years of experience in the areas of cancer registration and descriptive epidemiology. He will work on predictive analytics of the future cancer burden and the attributable causes of cancer in the Region of the Azores, Portugal. He will also provide guidance and training for NCI’s work with the IARC’s regional hub for the Caribbean countries.
New Canadian and Australian Adaptations of ASA24-2016 Released
The Automated Self-Administered 24-Hour Dietary Assessment Tool (ASA24) is a freely available, web-based software tool developed by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) that enables automated and self-administered 24-hour dietary recalls and food records (food diaries). The ASA24 system can be used by researchers for epidemiologic, intervention, behavioral, or clinical research; clinicians may use the ASA24 system for diet assessment and nutrition counseling; and educators may find it to be a useful teaching tool. First released in 2009, ASA24 was initially designed for use with US populations. In late 2016, Amy Subar oversaw the launch of an updated Canadian version of the tool (ASA24-Canada-2016) and a new Australian version (ASA24-Australia-2016). The original Canadian adaptation, developed by the Food Directorate at Health Canada in collaboration with NCI, was released in 2014. ASA24-Canada-2016 includes modifications made to reflect the Canadian food supply; both English and French language options are available. First released in late 2016, ASA24-Australia-2016 accounts for variations in food consumed, portion sizes, and nutrient composition. It was adapted by a consortium of Australian researchers, in collaboration with NCI, using the Australian Food, Supplement and Nutrient Database. All versions of ASA24-2016 use a responsive website design that allows respondents to use the site on mobile devices. Visit the ASA24 website for more information on the new features available in all versions of ASA24-2016.
Pakistan – US Science & Technology Cooperation Program
Brenda Edwards was one of six scientists on the Cancer Review Panel for the 2017 Pakistan – US Science & Technology Cooperation Program. This program is implemented by the US National Academy of Sciences and the Higher Education Commission (HEC) of Pakistan. It is intended to strengthen scientific and technological collaboration between Pakistan and the United States while building research capacity in Pakistan.
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International Physical Activity and Environment Network
The International Physical Activity and Environment Network (IPEN)—launched in August 2004 at the International Congress of Behavioral Medicine in Mainz, Germany—focuses on multinational analyses of relationships between built environment and physical activity. IPEN received NCI funding from 2009-13 (International Study of Built Environment, Physical Activity and Obesity – R01 CA127296), and it currently receives funding from multiple countries and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute via an R01 titled “IPEN Adolescent: International Study of Built Environments and Physical Activity.” Building on these grants, IPEN has been an extremely productive network. Dozens of papers have been published based on the years of funding from diverse sources, creating an extraordinary body of methodological and analytical work with global relevance to physical activity and the environment, which are significant targets for cancer control. In 2017, seven empirical papers arising from the NCI-funded study of adults were published, including an article by James Sallis, et al. in The Lancet, Urban environments in 14 cities worldwide are related to physical activity. Details of ongoing IPEN activities, including a recent newsletter, are available at http://www.ipenproject.org/. Please contact David Berrigan for more information about this line of work.
Behavioral Research Program “Sandpit” Workshop
The Behavioral Research Program, in partnership with Cancer Research UK (CRUK), hosted a 3-day residential “Sandpit” workshop (i.e., ideas lab) on April 24-26, 2017, in Potomac, Maryland. This intensive, interactive experience was intended to help facilitate the development of innovative research project ideas that cut across behavioral domains, professional sectors, and geographic boundaries to cultivate new insights across five key cancer-related health behaviors: tobacco use, alcohol consumption, dietary behavior, physical activity, and UV exposure. The outcome of the workshop is for participants to form teams, refine project ideas, and receive guidance on applying for seed funding from CRUK to test the feasibility of these ideas.
75th American Psychosomatic Society Annual Meeting
Paige Green served as a discussant for a symposium at the 75th Annual American Psychosomatic Society Meeting . The conference was held March 15-18, 2017, in Sevilla, Spain. This year’s theme was "Mobilizing Technology to Advance Biobehavioral Science and Health." The symposium Dr. Green participated in was titled “Increasing Therapeutic Precision in Psychosomatic Medicine through N-of-1 Studies” and included presentations from Ian Kronish, Nathalie Moise, and Karina Davidson.
Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco 23rd Annual Meeting
Mark Parascandola, Mirjana Djordjevic, Rachel Grana Mayne, Minal Patel, and Elizabeth Seaman attended the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco 23rd Annual Meeting (SRNT), March 8–11, 2017, in Florence, Italy. The last newsletter described this meeting and NCI TCRB’s participation in detail. In addition, Dr. Parascandola presented during an NCI and World Health Organization (WHO) symposium titled “The Economics of Tobacco and Tobacco Control,” highlighting the findings of the WHO and NCI Monograph 21: The Economics of Tobacco and Tobacco Control. Dr. Parascandola also participated as a member of the Advisory Panel for the SRNT Global Tobacco Network meeting, met with Doug Perrin of NCI’s Center for Global Health to discuss tobacco control activities for 2017 in the European region, and met with many other international colleagues to discuss ongoing projects and future collaborations.
International HPV Meeting
Sarah Kobrin attended the 31st International Papillomavirus Conference in Cape Town, South Africa, February 28 – March 4, 2017. Because the meeting is focused on papillomaviruses, rather than an area of scientific study, participants’ expertise varies widely, from virology through immunology, epidemiology, behavioral science, and Dr. Kobrin’s own work in health-care delivery. The pre-meeting sessions are therefore devoted to scientific updates in each of these areas – appropriate not only for experts but also for colleagues who primarily study a different aspect of HPV. Dr. Kobrin attended sessions on the "Basics of HPV Biology and Pathogenesis" as well as "Basics of HPV Immunology and Vaccines." During the main conference, great attention was paid to the interconnections between HPV and HIV; this topic has become a focus in the US and has long been a focus in Africa. Many conference participants were from African nations, and they provided insight into their delivery challenges, public health needs, and developing solutions. Many international collaborations for vaccine delivery were discussed. An additional significant topic was development of approaches to cervical cancer screening and prevention that are sensitive to local conditions, including infection types and rates, availability of clinical expertise, costs of tests and treatments, and the extent of infrastructure. Bringing some of this discussion to the US is an important challenge.
World Bank Forum Presentation
Michele Bloch and Kristen Mangold attended an internal World Bank Forum on February 27, 2017, in Washington, DC. Dr. Bloch presented on the work of the Tobacco Control Research Branch and, more specifically, NCI’s Tobacco Control Monograph Series. Frank Chaloupka, lead scientific editor for Monograph 21: The Economics of Tobacco and Tobacco Control, presented key findings from this monograph, which was a collaboration between NCI and the World Health Organization (WHO). Dr. Chaloupka also summarized findings from this monograph on the World Bank blog . WHO colleague Jeremias Paul gave a presentation titled “Raising Tobacco Taxes,” which discussed the evidence covered in the monograph behind increased tobacco taxes in reducing tobacco use.
Cancer and Work Network Meeting
Janet de Moor presented at the Cancer and Work Network (CANWON) meeting, which was held at Loughborough University, UK, from January 24-27, 2017. CANWON is a trans-European consortium dedicated to advancing research on the return-to-work process in cancer survivors, work-related costs of cancer survivorship, and interventions to enhance work participation following a cancer diagnosis. CANWON is led by Angela de Boer of the Academic Medical Center in the Netherlands and Fehmidah Munir of Loughborough University in the UK. The January meeting was attended by approximately 30 members of the CANWON management committee, who typically convene annually to review progress on their major initiatives and to interface with key international collaborators and the wider public. Dr. de Moor attended this meeting to describe ongoing NCI activities geared towards understanding and addressing cancer-related work limitations among cancer survivors in the US.
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Chinese Delegation to Visit NCI to Discuss HINTS Survey
On May 3, 2017, the Health Information National Trends Survey (HINTS) China team, led by Yu Guoming and accompanied by Gary Kreps and faculty from George Mason University, will visit NCI to discuss the upcoming national survey of health communication, which is modeled after NCI’s HINTS survey. Staff from the Behavioral Research Program and FDA Center for Tobacco Products will meet with the Chinese delegates to share lessons learned and provide input on the draft instrument and data collection plans.
Policy Impact Award from the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR)
The International Tobacco Control Policy Evaluation (ITC) Project, led by Mike Cummings and Geoff Fong, has been chosen to receive the prestigious 2017 Policy Impact Award from the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) at the 72nd Annual AAPOR Conference to be held May 18-21, 2017, in New Orleans, Louisiana. This award recognizes outstanding research that has resulted in a clear impact on improving policy decisions, practice and discourse, either in the public or private sectors. The ITC Project is the world’s most productive scientific project of tobacco use. It involves 150 tobacco-control researchers in 28 countries who conduct longitudinal cohort surveys to provide scientific evidence to governments, policymakers, and civil society. To date, the ITC Project has received more than 60 research grants totaling $75 million, including major project and operating grants from the Tobacco Control Research Branch (two P01, one P50, and five R01). NCI is proud to support this important work in tobacco control and congratulates our grantees on this accomplishment.
Annual Meeting of the International Society of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity
Laura Dwyer will present two posters – one on her research and another on behalf of Tanya Agurs-Collins – at the annual meeting of the International Society of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity (ISBNPA) in Victoria, Canada, on June 7-10, 2017. Dr. Dwyer’s poster focuses on the association between food insecurity and correlates of eating behaviors based on an analysis of the NCI Family Life, Activity, Sun, Health, and Eating (FLASHE) Study. Dr. Agurs-Collins’s poster features an analysis of advertising susceptibility and sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB) consumption among non-Hispanic black and non-Hispanic white adolescents in the FLASHE study. The project also analyzed associations of race and BMI with advertisement susceptibility and SSB consumption. Frank Perna is the lead author on a poster presentation focusing on the Physical Activity Index (PAI), a structural equation modeling approach using NHANES, which has potential utility to integrate physical activity-related performance and behavioral indicators to improve health prediction and promotion.
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