International Consortia & Conferences
Applied Research Program (ARP) staff coordinate and are active in a number of international consortia. Staff also regularly present research findings at international conferences. These activities provide a forum for sharing new knowledge and directly contribute to ARP's mission to understand how and why cancer care and control activities influence patterns of care and trends in cancer incidence, morbidity, mortality and survival.
The International Cancer Screening Network (ICSN), which is administered by ARP, is a voluntary consortium of countries that have active population-based cancer screening programs. The ICSN is dedicated to collaborative research aimed at identifying and fostering efficient and effective approaches to cancer control world-wide through population-based screening efforts.
These networks were created by the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer to renew cancer surveillance practices by increasing the quality and breadth of surveillance products, enhancing analytic capacity, and implementing knowledge translation practices. Dr. Rachel Ballard-Barbash, Associate Director of ARP, serves on the international scientific advisory committee that reviews the networks.
Dr. Rachel Ballard-Barbash serves on the development committee of the Canadian Cancer Society Research Institute (CCSRI), which aims to reduce cancer incidence. The goals of the committee's research program are to build Canadian capacity in gap areas of risk reduction research, facilitate knowledge translation in the research-practice-policy continuum, integrate CCSRI's core research programs and major initiatives with its divisional activities, and establish CCSRI's national leadership in risk reduction and prevention research.
In 1999, Ireland, Northern Ireland, and the US formed the Consortium, whose primary goal is to enhance the infrastructure for cancer research and cancer care across all of Ireland. ARP has provided extensive training to clinicians and scientists from Ireland and Northern Ireland through the Consortium. For example, ARP staff presented on the policy environment for promoting US fruit and vegetable consumption and on research and health surveillance activities at the 2004 Ireland Cancer Consortium on Diet, Physical Activity and Obesity. In 2007, ARP staff presented on health services research across the cancer continuum at a Consortium conference and convened an NCI-All Ireland Workshop on Health Economics and Health Policy Research in the Washington, DC metropolitan area. Staff in ARP co-lead the U.S. oversight and mentors committee for a health economics fellowship program sponsored by the Consortium.
The European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) comprises more than 300 hospitals/cancer centers in more than 30 countries. It develops, conducts, coordinates, and stimulates translational and clinical research in Europe to improve the management of cancer and related problems, by improving survival and quality of life. The goal of the EORTC is to improve the standard of cancer treatment through the testing of more effective therapeutic strategies. The NCI has had a collaborative agreement with the EORTC since the early 1970s. Staff in ARP work closely with EORTC members on issues relating to drug development, clinical trials, pharmacovigilance, data collection, quality assurance, and outcomes research.
The International Health Economics Association (IHEA) is a professional association whose mission is to increase communication among health economists and foster a high standard of debate in the application of economics to health and health care systems. ARP staff regularly present research findings at the biennial IHEA meetings, which are held in locations around the world.
The Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES) helps policymakers, managers, planners, practitioners, and researchers shape the direction of the Ontario health care system by assessing care delivery, patterns of service utilization, health technologies, drug therapies and other treatment modalities. ARP staff advise ICES faculty on health services research, such as anonymous linkage of population-based health information on an individual patient basis.
The Ontario Institute for Cancer Research (OICR) is a translational research organization that focuses on prevention, early detection, diagnosis and treatment. ARP staff serve on the Scientific Advisory Board of the OICR Health Services Research Program.
Nutritional Surveillance and Epidemiology
ARP staff participate in several advisory groups that are involved in nutritional surveillance and epidemiology in Europe and Canada: the Scientific Committee for the Nutrinet-Santé cohort study (France), the International Scientific Advisory Board for the Canadian Partnership for Tomorrow Project, and the Advisory Panel for PANEU-Pilot consortium, which has representation from Bulgaria, Finland, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Poland, and Portugal.
The NCI is a co-sponsor of the World Conference on Tobacco OR Health. This triennial conference is the preeminent international gathering of tobacco researchers and public health practitioners, with more than 5,000 participants from 173 countries attending. The 14th World Conference on Tobacco OR Health, which was held Feb 8 - 12, 2009 in Mumbai, India, in conjunction with International Union Against Cancer's (UICC) World Cancer Congress, highlighted the latest tobacco science research. ARP provided funding and technical expertise for conference planning. The next conference will take place March 20-24, 2012 in Changi, Singapore. Staff in ARP will present on how surveillance research can inform policy, using menthol cigarette smoking as an example.
The International Conference on Dietary Assessment Activity Methods (ICDAM) brings together researchers from around the world to discuss the latest developments in nutritional epidemiology and dietary and physical activity assessment methods. The 2009 conference was held in Washington, DC. The next ICDAM was held in Rome, Italy in May 2012. Staff in ARP served on the planning committee and presented at the conference. The final program is available online. The next conference will be held in September 2015 in Brisbane, Australia. For more information, visit the ICDAM9 Web site.
The International Society for Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity (ISBNPA) stimulates, promotes and advocates innovative research and policy in behavioral nutrition and physical activity. ARP staff presentations at the 2011 annual meeting discussed identifying food patterns in the food environment, two tools developed by the National Collaborative on Childhood Obesity Research (NCCOR) (Measures Registry and Catalogue of Surveillance Systems), diet and physical activity analyses of the American Time Use Survey (ATUS), diet and physical activity grants funded under the NIH Genes, Environment and Health Initiative (GEI), and assessment of the food environment in relation to diet and health.
The Cancer and Primary Care International Research Network (Ca-PRI) was established in 2008 as an open, multidisciplinary network for researchers in primary cancer care and related areas. Ca-PRI fosters international collaborative research for insights into the role of primary care across the cancer continuum. ARP staff participate in Ca-PRI and its meetings.
The International Children's Accelerometer Database (ICAD) pools data for more than 25,000 youth ages 3 - 16 years from studies conducted in ten countries. The physical activity data are collected using similar accelerometers and data collection protocols. The database became publicly available in 2012. ARP staff collaborate with the ICAD consortium, which has representation from more than 20 organizations.
Measurement of Active & Sedentary Behaviors: Bridging Methodological Approaches in Pan American Research
The Physical Fitness Research Center of São Caetano do Sul - CELAFISCS and the University of Pelotas partnered with the NCI to host a July 2011 workshop in Guadalajara, Mexico, titled "Measurement of Active and Sedentary Behaviors: Bridging Methodological Approaches in Pan American Research." The workshop examined considerations for assessing physical activity and sedentary behaviors in Latin America and promoted the development of cross-culturally proficient assessment methods. Participants discussed the applicability of knowledge produced in a 2010 workshop on self-report methods for assessing physical activity and sedentary behavior, as well as opportunities for Pan American collaboration to advance active and sedentary behavior research. At the end of the meeting, attendees called for the development of a searchable web-based resource to guide researchers and practitioners in using self-report measures of physical activity and to identify approaches for harmonizing surveillance methods in order to compare population estimates of physical activity internationally.
ARP staff chaired a cancer session at the 7th World Congress on Developmental Origins of Health and Disease in September 2011 in Portland, Oregon. Participants from 47 countries attended. This international meeting discussed the early origins of adult conditions with a wide variety of outcomes, from cognitive function to development of chronic disease. Opening and closing plenary sessions addressed global challenges, showcased templates for successful public health interventions, and considered how science, public health policy, and political sectors can come together to implement change.
The mission of the International Society for Quality of Life Research (ISOQOL) is to advance the scientific study of health-related quality of life and other patient-centered outcomes to identify effective interventions, enhance the quality of health care and promote the health of populations. ARP staff regularly participate in ISOQOL annual meetings. At the October 2012 annual meeting in Budapest, Hungary, ARP staff presented on the Patient-Reported Outcomes version of the Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events (PRO-CTCAE). The PRO-CTCAE system provides a Web-based platform to collect patient reports of symptoms they are experiencing while undergoing cancer treatment, for the purpose of enhancing adverse event reporting.