Ongoing Global Health Projects
International Innovation Grants Awards
For the fourth year, Cynthia Vinson and Brenda Edwards served on the peer-review team of global investigators to recommend 2018 recipients for the International Innovation Grants awards sponsored by the Conquer Cancer Foundation of the American Society of Clinical Oncology. From a pool of 71 interested applicants, 66 were selected to submit five-page descriptions of their proposed research, and 28 applications were rated and selected to submit full applications; the eight highest rated projects were discussed via a conference call in late 2017, from which three awards of $20K each will be made in early 2018.
HINTS-China Research Program
Bradford Hesse, Sylvia Chou, Emily Peterson, and Rick Moser will attend a research planning meeting and formal ceremony at George Mason University in Washington, DC, on January 25, 2018. The meeting will celebrate and help launch the expanded Health Information National Trends Survey (HINTS)-China research program, for which NCI staff have been providing scientific and technical support. The HINTS-China research program recently secured supplementary funding from the Chinese Food and Drug Administration and added Jinan University as a research partner, which will allow data collection to be expanded into several other regions of China and will enable the survey to be administered in Cantonese, in addition to Mandarin.
NCI-China National Cancer Center Research Collaborations
Mark Parascandola is working with colleagues at the National Cancer Center and Peking University Medical College in Beijing, China, on analyses of data on cigarette smoking and lung cancer in China. The group has completed an analysis estimating the total burden of tobacco-caused cancer mortality in China. While previous estimates have been published at the national level, this is the first analysis to include cancer mortality and smoking prevalence data at the provincial level, allowing for estimation of variation across provinces in China. A paper has been completed and will be submitted for publication. Dr. Parascandola is also working with colleagues to conduct analyses of the economic cost of tobacco-caused cancer in China and to look at changes in relative risks associated with cigarette smoking in China over time.
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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.
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Cancer Research UK Visit
A delegation from the Behavioral Research Program (BRP) – consisting of Bill Klein, Linda Nebeling, Susan Czajkowski, Mark Parascandola, Kara Hall, and Kara Wiseman – met with colleagues from Cancer Research UK (CRUK) in London, England, on December 4-6, 2017. The delegation presented at CRUK’s International Advisory Board meeting and CRUK’s staff meeting on NCI’s behavioral research programs and priorities, and they learned about CRUK’s cancer prevention activities and future cancer prevention and population health efforts. In addition, BRP staff attended an Alcohol Health Alliance UK meeting that included information about policies designed to reduce alcohol consumption and a presentation by David Jernigan that highlighted industry efforts to market alcoholic beverages to youth. Throughout the visit, the BRP team participated in discussions of common interests in tobacco, obesity, and alcohol research, learned about CRUK’s innovative funding mechanisms, and discussed plans for an NCI-CRUK “sandpit” workshop, expected to take place in late 2018 or early 2019.
NCI Cancer Prevention Fellow Kara Wiseman is completing a two-month detail with CRUK, the first participant in a pilot NCI-CRUK fellow research exchange program. During her fellowship at CRUK, Dr. Wiseman participated in several projects including analyses of data on UK physician attitudes about obesity and alcohol. The BRP team met with Sam Smith, a CRUK-funded researcher who will begin a one-month fellowship at NCI in March 2018. Dr. Smith’s interests include factors associated with initiation of chemopreventive regimens in women at high risk for breast cancer. Overall, the NCI visit to CRUK was highly productive, resulting in identification of several areas of mutual interest and potential collaborations that NCI and CRUK staff will explore in the coming months.
UK Population Sciences Advisory Committee Meeting
Sarah Kobrin from the Healthcare Delivery Research Program traveled to London, England, in the fall of 2017 to participate in a meeting of the UK Population Sciences Advisory Committee, for which she is the only member from outside the UK. Key areas of discussion included data sharing – an area where the UK is more advanced than the US – and implementation science – an area where the US is well ahead of the UK. Dr. Kobrin’s continued work with this group affords the opportunity for US advances to be considered more quickly in the UK, where they have single payer health care and much less government funding of research.
International Conference on Waterpipe Tobacco Smoking Research
Mark Parascandola participated in the Third International Conference on Waterpipe Tobacco Smoking Research focusing on "Translating waterpipe tobacco smoking research evidence into practice, policy and regulation," held at the American University of Beirut (AUB) in Lebanon, November 9-11, 2017. NCI also organized a one-day pre-conference training workshop on implementation science for tobacco control research. Conference attendees also had the opportunity to visit the waterpipe tobacco smoking laboratory on the AUB campus and to participate in the opening of a new WHO FCTC Global Knowledge Hub for Waterpipe Research. One of the key outcomes of the conference was a recognition of the need for research on adaptation and implementation of evidence-based tobacco control policies for waterpipe use.
Victoria Australia Delegation Visit to NCI
On November 8, 2017, at the NIH campus in Bethesda, MD, members of a delegation from Australia’s Ministry of Health met with staff from NCI to review an MOU between the two organizations, discuss potential collaborations, and identify priority research areas. The MOU was focused on training, capacity building, and health systems research to strengthen cancer care delivery mechanisms and build public health capacity for cancer care. The Australian delegation’s relevant priority research interests included genomics, rare cancers, informatics, and health systems and implementation science. Gila Neta from DCCPS, Dinah Singer from DCB, and several staff members from CGH presented the delegation with various mechanisms and resources for collaboration, including the Cancer Moonshot funding opportunities, the Dissemination and Implementation Research in Health PARs, and SEER Linkage.
First World NCD Congress
Mark Parascandola participated in the First World NCD Congress in Chandigarh, India, November 2-6, 2017, along with colleagues from NCI’s Center for Global Health. The conference was jointly organized by the World NCD Federation and the Post-Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) in Chandigarh, and NCI served as a technical partner for the conference. Dr. Parascandola co-organized a session on “Betel quid, areca nut, and oral cancer” and presented findings from NCI’s work in this area. He also participated as faculty in a two-day joint NCI and Global Alliance for Chronic Diseases pre-conference training workshop on “Dissemination and implementation science research.” The conference provided an opportunity to meet with NCI grantees and research partners, including the WHO FCTC Knowledge Hub on Smokeless Tobacco based in Delhi.
International Childhood Cancer Cohort Consortium
The annual meeting of the International Childhood Cancer Cohort Consortium (I4C) was held at the NCI Shady Grove campus on November 2-3, 2017. The I4C represents the largest international effort to prospectively study cancer etiology in children. In addition to US-based scientists who attended the workshop, researchers from Australia, Israel, South Korea, Norway, Denmark, France, England, Italy, Sweden, and China participated in the meeting. Sombat Mahabir has been working with the I4C as the NCI representative. Dr. Mahabir gave a talk on relevant grant funding opportunities at NIH and highlighted considerations for foreign investigators. DCEG provide partial funding for the I4C workshop.
Scientific Conference of the International Association of Cancer Registries
Lynne Penberthy, Goncalo Forjaz de Lacerda, and Brenda Edwards participated in the 2017 Scientific Conference of the International Association of Cancer Registries (IACR) held October 16-19, 2017, in Utrecht, the Netherlands. Dr. Penberthy gave a plenary talk on the US virtual pooled registry cancer linkage system for cohort matching and duplicate identification. Dr. Forjaz had presentations on international partnerships that build capacity through cancer registry and analytical tools, and in collaboration with colleagues from Portugal their investigation on geographic region as an age-specific modifier for breast cancer incidence. Dr. Edwards was engaged in presentations and discussions regarding progress, plans, collaboration, and communications among partners supporting the Caribbean Hub, one of the six Hubs in the Global Initiative for Cancer Registry (GICR) Development. She also participated in the Symposium for the European Cancer Registry Network (ENCR)-JRC (Joint Research Center for the EU) to hear about progress, plans, and future work. The 2017 IACR conference began with release of Cancer Incidence in Five Continents, Vol. XI and discussions of major international initiatives, such as Essential TNM for reporting stage of disease.
World Congress on Developmental Origins of Health and Disease
Somdat Mahabir attended the 10th World Congress on Developmental Origins of Health and Disease held in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, from October 15-18, 2017, at the De Doelen Congress Center. Dr. Mahabir was the chair for a session at the congress on “Early origins of cancer and rare diseases.” He also gave an invited talk at the congress on “Early-life factors and cancer development.” Dr. Mahabir was able to network with several scientists working on the paradigm that cancer starts early in life and discussed ways to advance this work in the United States.
Global Environmental and Occupational Health (GEOHealth) Hubs Network Meeting
Gary Ellison and Damali Martin served as moderators for various scientific sessions at the second annual Global Hubs for Environmental and Occupational Health (GEOHealth) Investigators Meeting on October 12 and 13, 2017, at the NIH campus in Bethesda, MD. GEOHealth is a trans-agency initiative led by the Fogarty International Center and supports the development of leading institutions in low- and middle-income countries to serve as regional hubs in collaborative research, data management, training, curriculum development, and policy support. The meeting provided a forum for GEOHealth investigators to share and discuss activities, accomplishments, and challenges in GEOHealth research and research training for all GEOHealth Hubs. The hubs are based in Suriname, Ghana, India, Thailand, Peru, Ethiopia, and Bangladesh. Dr. Ellison serves as NCI’s lead program contact for GEOHealth and a member of its Network Scientific Advisory Group. Dr. Martin serves as the US Government Collaborator for the Suriname GEOHealth Hub.
African-Caribbean Cancer Consortium Meeting
Damali Martin attended the African-Caribbean Cancer Consortium Meeting, October 6-9, 2017, in Miami, FL. The African-Caribbean Cancer Consortium is an EGRP-supported consortium that was established to study viral, genetic, environmental, and lifestyle risk factors affecting cancer risk, epidemiology, and outcomes in populations of African ancestry. The consortium is trans-disciplinary and consists of three interconnected networks--United States, Caribbean, and Africa--involving investigators, clinicians, health care providers, other health professionals, community leaders, and cancer advocates with a shared aim to reduce the burden of cancer among peoples of African ancestry throughout the diaspora. Dr. Martin presented information on the current version of the Standard Operating Procedures Manual for cancer registrars in the Caribbean. The manual was developed by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) Caribbean Cancer Registry Hub working group as part of the NCI-funded initiative to improve and standardize the collection of cancer registry data for the region. Dr. Martin also presented on the NIH grants and review process.
International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer
Stephanie Land presented at the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC) Multidisciplinary Symposium in Thoracic Oncology in Chicago, IL, held September 14-16, 2017. Dr. Land’s presentation was titled “Research and policy priorities in tobacco control,” highlighting NCI’s role in the global fight against tobacco use and lung cancer. The IASLC is the only global organization dedicated to the study of lung cancer, involving more than 100 countries with the goal of eliminating lung cancer and other thoracic malignancies.
Preventing Overdiagnosis Conference
The purpose of the Preventing Overdiagnosis Conference (held August 17-19, 2017, in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada) was to explore how physicians, researchers, and patients can implement solutions to the problems of overdiagnosis and overuse in health care systems using available evidence. During the conference, Kathy Helzlsouer (DCCPS), Stephen Taplin (DCCPS), and Barbara Dunn (DCP) presented a workshop entitled “Overdiagnosis in genetic screening: clinical implications.” The workshop highlighted the probabilistic nature of the implication of genetic test results, the challenge for the patient of dealing with uncertainty, evidence for overtreatment when results of testing include variants of uncertain clinical significance, and the role of primary care physicians in interpreting test results and offering appropriate follow-up care.
NCI-OCCAM and China Cancer Institute TCM International Consortium for Chinese Medicine and Cancer Meeting
Brenda Edwards was an invited speaker at the meeting of NCI-OCCAM and China Cancer Institute TCM International Consortium for Chinese Medicine and Cancer (ICCMC) held August 16-18, 2018, in Guangzhou, China. Dr. Edwards gave a presentation on "Cancer registry and Chinese medicine." The conference focused on overseas development of Chinese medicine research, evidence-based practice, and integration with conventional Western medicine that contribute together to human health. A breakfast meeting was held with the vice-director of the National Health and Family Planning Commission of the People's Republic of China and the director of State Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine (SATCM). Jeffrey White (Director, OCCAM, DCTD) spoke and affirmed the importance of open and inclusive discussions to integrate TCM and Western medicine.
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2018 Active Living Research Conference
David Berrigan is organizing a workshop titled “Enhancing measures selection using the National Collaborative on Childhood Obesity Research (NCCOR) Measures Registry and User Guides” at the 2018 Active Living Research Conference. This conference convenes a multidisciplinary set of scientists, practitioners and policy makers to discuss research on how to create and sustain active living environments. The conference will be held February 11-14, 2018, in Banff, Canada.
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