Ongoing Global Health Projects
Support for Harmonization of Data
The Surveillance Research Program is providing funding through an interagency agreement to the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) for additional work on the harmonization of data in the TNM Cancer Staging System, which was developed and is maintained by the American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) and UICC. It is the most commonly used staging system by medical professionals around the world. Funding is being used to harmonize the two (AJCC and UICC) systems. In 2018, the UICC and AJCC will be addressing prognostic factors in their staging systems. Carol Kosary serves as the program officer on this effort.
Site Visit to Screening and Treatment Facility in Khayelitsha, South Africa
NCI is currently funding a research project to rigorously evaluate and validate Cepheid’s multiplex qPCR HPV genotyping-based test and improve its specificity for use in a single visit, screen-and-treat (SAT) modality in a low-resource setting. On March 04, 2017, Ted Trimble, Paul Pearlman, and Tom Randall of NCI’s Center for Global Health; Rao Divi of the Epidemiology and Genomics Research Program; representatives from Basic Health International and Cepheid; and the study PIs visited the Khayelitsha region of South Africa to tour the facility where the SAT sessions are being conducted. The goal of the project is to establish a robust HPV testing technology that is useful for SAT in low- and middle-income settings.
NCI and Cancer Research UK Collaboration
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. The last newsletter described this cross-disciplinary collaboration in more detail. US and UK teams developed five focus areas from this workshop:
- Advancing Cancer Prevention Pricing Interventions across the UK and US: Optimizing Message Framing (Rachel Carey, David Conway, Joseph Lee, Elisa Trucco)
- Changing How People Think and Feel about Cancer Prevention Behaviors: Translating Neuroscience into Population Health (Elisa Trucco, Laura Martin, Sara Levens, Nina Cooperman, Austin Baldwin, Noreen Mdege, Angelos Kassianos)
- Incentivized Smoking Cessation for Tobacco Treatment-Resistant Diabetics (Sydney Martinez, Fiona Mitchell, Sammy Quaife)
- Project HATCH – Staying Healthy after Childbirth: A Cross-National Study to Support Smoking Abstinence and Inter-Related Cancer-Prevention Behaviours among Postpartum Women (Caitlin Notley, Angelos Kassianos, Dian Nostikasari, Claire Spears, Allison Kurti, Jamie Payton)
- RESET Sleep: Regulating Exercise, Substance Use, and Eating through Sleep (Jennifer Taber, Beth Smith, Tapio Paljarvi, Brinda Rana, Lisa Cadmus-Bertram, Darren Mays)
Kara Wiseman will participate in a new fellow research exchange between NCI CRUK in London in October. In her 2-month detail, Dr. Wiseman will learn about CRUK and its role in guiding research and policy. She also will lead an analysis of primary care providers’ barriers to recommending services for alcohol reduction, obesity, and tobacco cessation, with the aim of identifying potential opportunities for intervention.
The Behavioral Research Program will send a delegation to the UK in December to attend and present at the CRUK International Advisory Board meeting about NCI-CRUK joint activities and to attend complementary meetings with CRUK staff and grantees. The delegation includes Bill Klein, Linda Nebeling, Susan Czajkowski, Kara Hall, and Kara Wiseman.
Tobacco Control Network Analysis and Research Priorities in Africa
Mark Parascandola of TCRB in collaboration with researchers from the Mayo Clinic, University of Arizona, and University of Southern California have been working to develop and implement a network analysis to identify current connections and gaps in the tobacco control community in Africa as well as opportunities for collaboration and communication among those working in tobacco control in Africa. In-country partners include the Centre for Tobacco Control in Africa and the World Health Organization Regional Offices of Africa and the Eastern Mediterranean. The team plans to gather information from researchers (using a questionnaire in English, French, and Arabic) in the fall and use the results to inform tobacco control research capacity building efforts in Africa. Additionally, Dr. Parascandola has been overseeing a literature review to better understand the landscape of tobacco control efforts in Africa.
Back to top
Global Health Research and Training Initiatives
Embassy Science Fellowship in China
Sylvia Chou will serve as an Embassy Science Fellow in Beijing, China, for one month in Spring 2018. She will be collaborating on technology and health communication research projects and establishing partnerships in cancer prevention/tobacco control communication initiatives with China CDC. In particular, Dr. Chou will continue to serve as a liaison between NCI’s HINTS team and the HINTS-China project at Beijing Normal University. The Fellowship will also serve as an opportunity for Dr. Chou to further explore novel ways of understanding the dissemination of cancer information (including myths) through media channels as well as ways to use data to inform health communication practice.
World Congress of Psycho-Oncology
Paul Jacobsen attended the 19th World Congress of Psycho-Oncology , August 15-18, 2017, in Berlin, Germany. While there, he participated in the annual International Psycho-Oncology Society Board Meeting as the NCI liaison. He also delivered one of the opening plenary lectures (“Improving Care Delivery and Outcomes for Cancer Survivors”) and served as a discussant for three symposia (“Dissemination of Psychological Interventions: Practice-based Evidence,” “Life in Transition: How Do We Experience Ourselves Before and After a Cancer Diagnosis?,” and “New Developments in the Treatment of Cancer-related Fatigue”). The meeting provided Dr. Jacobsen with many opportunities to meet with NCI-funded investigators conducting survivorship and behavioral oncology research and to meet with investigators from other countries conducting research in this area.
5th World Congress of the International Positive Psychology Association
Elise Rice attended the 5th World Congress of the International Positive Psychology Association , July 13-16, 2017, in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, where she presented a talk titled “Do Positive Spontaneous Thoughts Function as Incentive Salience?” In her talk, Dr. Rice shared her recent research on the role of positive spontaneous thoughts in approach motivation, suggesting that such thoughts mediate the effect of positive emotions during an activity (such as exercise) on repeated behavior. The same work was also recognized at the conference with a Dissertation Award Honorable Mention.
Metabolomics 2017 (13th Annual Conference of the Metabolomics Society)
Krista Zanetti participated in Metabolomics 2017 , held in Brisbane, Australia, June 25-29, 2017. The theme of the 2017 conference was “Building Bridges,” which included six different tracks: systems biology/metabolic modelling, natural products/metabolite identification, advancing the field, edibilomics, health and medicine and environmental metabolomics, and plant and model organisms. Dr. Zanetti, the secretary of the Metabolomics Society Board, spoke about careers in government administration at the Early-Career Members Network (EMN) Workshop, and chaired both the Population-Based Metabolomics Research and Closing Plenary Sessions. The Closing Plenary Session provided an overview of what the field of metabolomics has achieved thus far, including studies using population-based models. Additionally, there was a poster presentation by Ann Hsing from Stanford on the EGRP-supported COMETS, titled “COnsortium for METabolomics Studies (COMETS): Developing Resources to Accelerate Scientific Discovery.” Dr. Zanetti was a co-author on the poster.
International Conference on Ambulatory Monitoring of Physical Activity and Movement
The Epidemiology and Genomics Research Program, in partnership with the Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research, the National Institute of Diabetes Digestive and Kidney Disease, the National Center for Medical Rehabilitation Research, the National Science Foundation, and the International Society for the Measurement of Physical Behaviour, hosted nearly 300 participants from more than 20 countries at the Natcher Conference Center, June 21-23, for the 2017 International Conference on Ambulatory Monitoring of Physical Activity and Movement . Conference topics included clinical through population monitoring of youth, adults, older adults, and persons with chronic disease and disabilities. Issues related to accelerometer device measures from data collection to data analysis were addressed, as well as place-based measures, multimodal measures, big data, and small data.
Caribbean Cancer Surveillance Meeting at NAACCR Annual Conference
Brenda Edwards and Damali Martin, along with Lisa Stevens of the Center for Global Health and Dr. Gonçalo Forjaz, an SRP Visiting Science Fellow and Director of the Regional Cancer Registry of the Azores, participated in the Caribbean Cancer Surveillance Meeting, an afternoon session held at the North American Association of Central Cancer Registries (NAACCR) Annual conference on June 21, 2017 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Participants included key stakeholders for cancer surveillance from four Caribbean countries (Barbados, Haiti, Jamaica, and Puerto Rico), the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), directors of several major US cancer registries (Atlanta SEER, Massachusetts, Louisiana, South Carolina, and Florida), and several senior NAACCR leaders. The main objectives of the meeting were to 1) review the first draft of the Caribbean Cancer Registry Standard Operating Procedures Manual, and 2) discuss opportunities for collaborations with NAACCR, including data sharing, training opportunities, and the provision of technical support for cancer registration in the Caribbean. In addition, CARPHA and participating Caribbean Cancer registries will review the NAACCR National Data Exchange Agreement, which will help to facilitate the sharing of data between US and Caribbean cancer registries.
InterLymph Consortium Annual Meeting
Rao Divi helped organize the Annual Meeting of the InterLymph Consortium, which was held on June 12-15, 2017, in Copenhagen, Denmark. InterLymph is an open scientific forum for epidemiologic research in non-Hodgkin lymphoma; it is supported in part by NCI’s Epidemiology and Genomics Research Program (EGRP) and Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics (DCEG). The goal of the annual meeting was to present and discuss progress on InterLymph pooling projects, explore options to increase the research capacity, share samples and data, and plan future studies. Dr. Divi represented EGRP at the meeting; he is also a member of the consortium coordination committee and will serve on a newly formed Bioinformatics Taskforce for implementing cloud resources for efficient storage, sharing, and analysis of InterLymph results.
Economics of Tobacco and Tobacco Control in Africa Webinar
The National Cancer Institute and Centre for Tobacco Control in Africa (CTCA) hosted a webinar on June 14, 2017, focused on how the messages of NCI’s Tobacco Control Monograph 21, The Economics of Tobacco and Tobacco Control, are relevant to addressing tobacco control issues in Africa. Mark Parascandola of TCRB and Frank Chaloupka of the University of Illinois served as speakers. Dr. Parascandola will continue to advise CTCA on topic areas for future tobacco control webinars.
UK Populations Sciences Working Group and HPV Vaccine Communication
Sarah Kobrin traveled to London, England, in June to participate in the UK Populations Sciences Working Group meeting as a full member. Dr. Kobrin learned about the extensive data sharing efforts in the UK that can inform development of the DCCPS data sharing retreat. While in London, Dr. Kobrin also attended an HPV vaccine communication conference and learned about a systems map of vaccine provision that will be useful to include in ongoing HPV vaccine promotion efforts at NCI.
International Conference on Non-Pharmacological Interventions
Susan Czajkowski gave a plenary address and co-led a workshop on "Ideas to Efficacy: The ORBIT Model for Developing Behavioral Treatments for Chronic Diseases" at the International Conference on Non-Pharmacological Interventions (ICEPS). The conference was held May 18-20, 2017, in Montpellier, France. One of the largest world meetings on non-pharmacological interventions (NPIs), the conference featured a series of plenary talks, symposia and panels, and workshops on NPIs, addressing new research paradigms and methods, trial results and translational research (from mechanistic studies to practical applications). Featured speakers included Kenneth Freedland (US), Susan Michie and Robert West (UK), Bob Reid, Linda Carlson, and Simon Bacon (Canada), and Gregory Ninot (France), among others.
AACR-AORTIC Workshop on Capacity Building for Cancer Research in Africa
On January 17-18, 2017, in Cape Town, South Africa, the AORTIC (African Organization for Research and Training in Cancer) Workshop on Capacity Building for Cancer Research in Africa was held in conjunction with the AACR International Conference on New Frontiers in Cancer Research . At the workshop, Nonye Harvey gave a presentation on the NIH grants process and participated on a panel that discussed opportunities for new and early-stage investigators, resources available to the extramural community, and best practices for successful grant applications. She then represented EGRP at the Men of African Descent and Carcinoma of the Prostate (MADCaP) Consortium U01 Investigator meeting on January 19, also held in conjunction with the AACR conference.
Back to top
Samsung Comprehensive Cancer Center’s 10-Year Anniversary Symposium
Brad Hesse has been invited to give a presentation at the 10-year anniversary symposium for the Samsung Comprehensive Cancer Center in Seoul, South Korea, on March 31, 2018. Dr. Hesse will present on "Improving Cancer Related Outcome with Connected Health," as part of the “Smart Care in Oncology” session. While in South Korea, Dr. Hesse will visit Hanyang University to discuss the possibility of a South Korean version of the Health Information National Trends Survey (HINTS).
Back to top