DCCPS International Activities

Welcome to the inaugural issue of the DCCPS Global Health newsletter! The goal of this newsletter is to provide updates, highlights, and accomplishments of the DCCPS staff involved in global health activities at NCI and NIH, as well as other partnering organizations. The division conducts and supports an integrated program of the highest-quality genetic, epidemiological, behavioral, social, applied, and surveillance cancer research in the United States and internationally. DCCPS-funded international research aims to monitor and explain the causes and distribution of cancer in populations throughout the world and to support the development and delivery of effective interventions. Many of us at DCCPS have played a leading role in the effort to address cancer burden globally, through our many collaborations within NCI, NIH, or other organizations working to improve the health of populations worldwide. I hope that you will find this newsletter an informative and valuable resource as you continue to move forward with your global health activities.

Damali Martin, PhD, MPH
DCCPS International Research Coordinator

August 2011
Volume 1, Issue 1


In This Issue

Noteworthy Reports

Meeting Reports

Upcoming Events

Ongoing Global Health Projects

Global Health Research and Training Initiatives

Noteworthy Reports

Muin Khoury and Deborah Winn Help Determine WHO's "Grand Challenges" for Developing Countries
Dr. Muin Khoury and Dr. Deborah Winn served on the Expert Panel of the World Health Organization's (WHO) project, Grand Challenges in Genomics for Public Health in Developing Countries (Grand Challenges project) led by WHO's Department of Research Policy & Cooperation. The Grand Challenges project aims to develop a list of the top 10 priorities (Grand Challenges) for the effective development and application of genomics-based interventions for public health improvement in developing countries. WHO will take these Grand Challenges to member states in 2012 to guide countries' research and public health strategies on genomics to improve public health. Both Drs. Khoury and Winn served on the Expert Panel, a panel of international scientific and public health experts, which suggested and scored Grand Challenges or bottlenecks to be overcome by developing countries to harness genomics for alleviating the greatest public health problems over the next 10 years. Grand Challenges comprise major problems and issues in public health in developing countries, the solutions or contributions to which genomics has an integrated, significant part. In addition, Dr. Khoury served on WHO's Scientific Board overseeing the Grand Challenges project.

DCCPS Contributing to Economic Evidence in Global Tobacco Control
NCI and the World Health Organization are collaborating to jointly produce a Tobacco Control MonographNational Cancer Institute Tobacco Control Monograph 21: The Economics of Tobacco and Tobacco Control: A Joint Report from the National Cancer Institute and the World Health Organization. The monograph examines the growing evidence base on the relationship between global economics and tobacco control, including tobacco product taxes and prices, policy, and other tobacco control interventions.

Implementation Science Team's Glasgow and Sanchez Publish Article Highlighting NIH Global Health Initiatives and Challenges to Advance Research in Global Health
On Thursday, June 9, Dr. Russ Glasgow and Michael Sanchez of the DCCPS Implementation Science Team published an article highlighting examples of NIH global health initiatives in Translational Behavioral Medicine. The article summarized the growing and shifting epidemic of noncommunicable disease from high-income countries to low- and middle-income countries, several promising NIH programs and activities, and both challenges and opportunities for global health research.

"New international collaborations dedicated to an implementation and evaluation research agenda in chronic diseases are needed, and the behavioral and social sciences will be critical to advance research in global health," they wrote.

Full text is available now as an "Online First" article in Translational Behavioral Medicine at: http://www.springerlink.com/openurl.asp?genre=article&id=doi:10.1007/s13142-011-0047-x

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Meeting Reports

4th Annual Ca-PRI Network Meeting Held Near Amsterdam
As the United States considers its health care system under new organizational frameworks such as the Medical Home and the Affordable Care Act, approaches to health care in other countries offer potential insights. Researchers from Europe and North America meet annually to consider international research collaborations in the primary care setting that would take advantage of cross country comparisons. At the recent meeting of the Cancer and Primary Care Research International (Ca-PRI) Network near Amsterdam, Dr. Sarah Kobrin presented work she has been conducting with researchers in the UK to consider how their respective cultures and systems affect men's consideration of PSA screening for prostate cancer. Dr. Stephen Taplin gave a keynote address focused on the primary care team functioning to address the transition from screening to treatment, and Dr. Erica Breslau presented work on the role of physicians in guiding older adults through screening decisions. Dr. Carrie Klabunde presented a national study on provider roles in the follow-up care of cancer survivors from the NCI-sponsored Survey of Physicians’ Attitudes Regarding the Care of Cancer Survivors (SPARCCS). DCCPS provides support to Ca-PRI through an R13 conference grant award. The Ca-PRI Network will meet again in Cleveland, OH in May 2012. More information about the researchers and areas of interest can be found at http://www.ca-pri.com

NIH Convenes Workshop on Health Burden of Indoor Air Pollution on Women and Children
NIH held a workshop on the "Health Burden of Indoor Air Pollution (IAP) on Women and Children," May 9–11, 2011, in Arlington, VA. Support for the workshop was extensive, including from the Department of State, HHS Office of Global Health Affairs, NIH Institutes and Centers, CDC, the Environmental Protection Agency, and USAID. This workshop was organized to determine the state of the science about IAP and the opportunities for successful stove and fuel interventions that could improve human health. This was the first time that a workshop of this size has been held across the various sectors interested in IAP addressing the wide range of IAP health outcomes research. The keynote address was given by the First Lady of Peru, Pilar Nores de Garcia, who has been a longtime advocate for improved cookstoves. Other speakers during the opening reception included Secretary Clinton (by video); NIH Director, Dr. Francis Collins; and Gina McCarthy, assistant administrator of the EPA. Next steps will include a report to the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves and completion of manuscripts from the workshop that identify important research gaps and priority areas. Learn more about the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves at http://cleancookstoves.org.

Chinese Academy of Sciences - NIH Workshop Identifies Emerging Areas for Research Cooperation on Environmental Pollution and Cancer
DCCPS led a U.S. team in developing the scientific agenda for a workshop with China on environmental pollution and cancer that was hosted by the Guangzhou Institute of Biomedicine and Health of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) in Guangzhou, China, on January 5–8, 2010. The workshop was cosponsored with NIH's Fogarty International Center (FIC), NIEHS, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), and CAS.

The objective was to identify top emerging areas for research cooperation between China and the United States on environmental pollution and cancer, with a primary focus on lung cancer, through discussions of specific goals and possibilities for collaborating on cancer epidemiology, environmental monitoring, and tobacco control, and fostering translational research in these areas. NIH and CAS each support several existing activities in the area of cancer and environmental health and desire to expand research in areas of mutual interest to reduce the cancer burden in their countries.

DCCPS is also leading the effort to produce a summary of workshop proceedings, which will be available on http://epi.grants.cancer.gov/china_us. As a follow up to the workshop in Guangzhou, NCI is planning an additional workshop on environmental exposures and cancer to take place in the United States in fiscal year 2012. NIEHS, as well as FIC, will play a major role in organizing and participating in the meeting. As an outcome of the workshop, NCI, with NIEHS and FIC, expects to develop an initiative on international collaboration in environmental health with an emphasis on low- and middle-income countries.

DCCPS Staff Present at International Nutrition and Physical Activity Conference
NCI staff presentations at the 2010 annual meeting of the International Society for Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity (ISBNPA) focused on food laws, physical education laws, and analyses concerning application of the Healthy Eating Index-2005 to the food environment and the national food supply. At the June 2011 annual meeting, presentations by Drs. Susan Krebs-Smith, David Berrigan, Robin McKinnon, and Heather Bowles focused on identifying patterns in the food environment; the National Collaborative on Childhood Obesity Research (NCCOR) Measures Registry and Catalogue of Surveillance Systems; analyses of the American Time Use Survey (ATUS) that pertain to physical activity and dietary behaviors; the NIH Genes, Environment and Health (GEI) Initiative diet and physical activity grants; and assessment of the food environment in relation to diet and health.

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Upcoming Events

International Childhood Cancer Cohort Consortium (I4C) Meeting,
September 19–20, 2011

Most cancer research to date has focused on cancer risk factors in adulthood, but there is growing awareness that early-life exposures may be important factors for cancer risk in both childhood and adulthood. The International Childhood Cancer Cohort Consortium (14C) is an alliance of several large-scale prospective cohort studies of children to pool data and biospecimens from individual cohorts to study various modifiable and genetic factors in relation to cancer risk. This initiative brings together international multidisciplinary teams of epidemiologists, basic scientists, and clinicians to collaborate on investigations into the role of early-life exposures on cancer risk. This international alliance of longitudinal studies of children has the potential to make major contributions in advancing understanding of the role of early-life exposures in childhood cancers and other diseases. The I4C meeting will take place in Barcelona, Spain, September 19–20, 2011. Dr. Somdat Mahabir is the EGRP contact and representative. Learn more about the I4C at https://communities.nci.nih.gov/i4c/default.aspx.

Childhood Leukemia International Consortium (CLIC) Meeting,
September 17–18, 2011

The Childhood Leukemia International Consortium (CLIC) is an international group of researchers established in 2006 in collaboration with the University of California at Berkeley and the International Agency for Research on Cancer, with the aim of sharing comparable data from case-control and family-based trio studies on childhood leukemia. Through this joint research, CLIC will coordinate scientific efforts and achieve greater power to elucidate the role of a variety of clinical, infectious, environmental, and genetic risk factors in the etiology of childhood leukemia, especially for rare subtypes. The next CLIC meeting will take place in Barcelona, Spain, September 17–18, 2011. Dr. Somdat Mahabir is the EGRP contact and representative. Learn more about CLIC at https://ccls.berkeley.edu/clic.

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Ongoing Global Health Projects

Health Information National Trends Survey (HINTS)
The University of Puerto Rico Comprehensive Cancer Center, the Puerto Rico Behavioral Risk Factors Surveillance System, and NCI implemented HINTS in Puerto Rico in 2009. A total of 639 (603 complete and 36 partially complete) interviews were conducted. Documentation is available to assist with analyzing the HINTS Puerto Rico data, including instructions on how to combine the dataset with HINTS 2007 for comparisons. HINTS data are available for public use and key publications to emerge from HINTS Puerto Rico Data are featured on http://hints.cancer.gov/.

The Behavioral Research Program is working with the University of Guam to use existing Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) survey infrastructure to develop and implement a nationally representative survey in Guam based on the Health Information National Trends Survey. Results will be used by local researchers in Guam to examine their communication and information-seeking experiences and needs relevant to cancer to inform their local cancer control planning efforts.

ICSN Explores Prominent and Emerging Screening Issues
The International Cancer Screening Network (ICSN) is a voluntary consortium of 28 countries that have active population-based cancer screening programs. The ICSN, chaired by Dr. Rachel Ballard-Barbash, is dedicated to collaborative research aimed at identifying and fostering efficient and effective approaches to cancer control worldwide through population-based screening. The most recent ICSN meeting took place in 2010 in Oxford, England. The next meeting will be held in October 2012 in Sydney, Australia in conjunction with the Sydney International Breast Cancer Congress. The ICSN has several active working groups: program assessment, biomarkers and screening, international application of test sets, DCIS and quality of care, screening participation rates, radiology feedback, and international comparisons of cost.

DCCPS Collaborating in Survey Methodology Reporting
Dr. Gordon Willis has collaborated with Dr. Hennie Boeije at Utrecht University in the Netherlands to develop a common framework for the reporting of results of survey questionnaire testing and evaluation. The authors presented the resulting guidelines in July at the European Survey Research Association (ESRA) Conference in Lausanne, Switzerland to an international group of survey researchers.

DCCPS Lends Expertise in Nutritional Surveillance and Epidemiology
Dr. Amy Subar is a member of the Scientific Committee for the Nutrinet-Santé cohort study in France, the International Scientific Advisory Board for the Canadian Partnership for Tomorrow Project, a large Canadian cohort study, and the Advisory Panel for the PANEU-Pilot consortium. PANEU-Pilot consists of institutes from Bulgaria, Finland, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Poland, and Portugal that will develop appropriate tools and procedures for collecting individual food consumption data through 24-hour recalls in randomly selected populations of adolescents, adults, and older adults. Dr. Subar taught sections of a nutritional epidemiology course at Imperial College London in 2009 and 2010 and will do so again in Fall 2011.

International Database Pools Objective Physical Activity Data
Dr. Richard Troiano participates in the International Children's Accelerometer Database, a partnership of organizations and initiatives from the United States, Brazil, Europe, and Australia. The database pools data for more than 25,000 youth aged 3–16 years from 18 studies conducted in 10 countries. All physical activity data is collected using similar accelerometers and data collection protocols. The database will be provided as a public resource in 2011.

Efforts Underway to Incorporate PRO-CTCAE in International Cancer Clinical Trials
Drs. Sandra Mitchell and Steven Clauser met with European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) Quality of Life Subcommittee members at the October 2010 International Society for Quality of Life Research (ISOQOL) meeting. They discussed approaches for extending implementation of the Patient-Reported Outcomes version of the Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events (PRO-CTCAE) into international cancer clinical trials in Europe. A key step in promoting widespread implementation of PRO-CTCAE in international trials is the availability of translated/culturally adapted instrument versions. Drs. Mitchell and Clauser discussed possible collaboration approaches that might be employed through EORTC member countries to adapt PRO-CTCAE into a variety of European languages, the methodologies that could be used, and the priority languages to target. Efforts in Great Britain, Switzerland, and Japan are underway.

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Global Health Research and Training Initiatives

U.S.-China Biomedical Collaborative Research Program
NIH and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) are developing the U.S.-China Program for Biomedical Research Collaboration (BRC) to encourage research cooperation between U.S. and Chinese scientists. NIH and NSFC will provide funding for the BRC, which begins by launching a one-year pilot jointly funded program (JFP) to support new or expanded research partnerships between U.S. and Chinese scientists in the areas of cancer, allergy, immunology, and infectious diseases, including HIV/AIDS. On February 4, 2011, NCI released the Notice of Availability of Administrative Supplements for U.S.-China Biomedical Collaborative Research on Cancer, Allergy, Immunology, and Infectious Diseases including HIV/AIDS and its Co-morbidities (NOT-CA-11-003): http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-CA-11-003.html. U.S. and Chinese collaborating organizations worked together to submit corresponding applications, which were due April 14, 2011, in response to this announcement. NCI, NIAID, and the Office of AIDS Research each contributed $1 million to fund one-year administrative supplements awarded under this announcement, and NSFC is providing approximately 9 million renminbi (~$1.4M) of complementary funds to support new one-year projects for the Chinese collaborating investigators.

Trans-NIH Tobacco Control Research Initiative Released
NCI will join the recently released third issuance of the International Tobacco and Health Research and Capacity Building program, trans-NIH research initiative led by the Fogarty International Center (FIC) and co-sponsored by NIDA. The goal of this RFA continues to be to support research and research capacity building projects focused on observational, interventional, or policy research that address the large and growing burden of tobacco use in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). As in the past, research projects must represent collaborations between scientists in the United States or other high-income country and scientists from one or more LMICs, the proposed research must be of local relevance, and research capacity strengthening must be an integral and significant part of the proposal. The major portion of the research must be conducted in the LMIC under study. Projects will also be required to disseminate research findings to broad audiences, incorporate strategies for regional impact, and take steps to ensure the project's sustainability following the conclusion of the grant period.

DCCPS Staff Leading Ireland Fellowship Program in Health Economics
The NCI-Ireland-Northern Ireland Health Economics Fellowship in Cancer program is a doctoral training program that includes 10 months of coursework in health economics, cancer prevention, and health policy in Ireland and at NCI, followed by two years of mentored research at one of several NCI-designated mentor sites and a final year of mentored research at an affiliated host institution in Ireland. The U.S. oversight and mentors committee for this program is led by DCCPS staff (Drs. Martin Brown and Eric Feuer) and includes participation from several NCI grantees. Four Irish doctoral fellows are currently pursuing research projects at NCI mentor sites. Two fellows are currently taking course work at the academic home of the program, Trinity University in Dublin. Dr. Brown highlighted the research progress of the fellows as a keynote speaker at a 2010 Workshop on Health Economics and Health Policy Research in Belfast.

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For more information on the full range of DCCPS activities in global health, including international partners, workshops and conferences, funding opportunities, and DCCPS-facilitated research and activities, visit the DCCPS Activities in Global Health website: http://www.cancercontrol.cancer.gov/global_health/.