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Spotlight on Applied Research

Message from Dr. Rachel Ballard-Barbash

The Applied Research Program (ARP), Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences is pleased to present this issue of Spotlight on Applied Research. This newsletter is intended to inform ARP's many partner organizations and individuals about developments in ARP's initiatives and tools, as well as opportunities for funding and highlights of some recent ARP events. It also profiles staff who recently joined ARP. We hope you enjoy reading this issue and find it helpful for understanding ARP's multifaceted work across the cancer control continuum, from prevention through survivorship. We thank all of you who are engaged in this research and look forward to continued progress in expanding research, data systems, and methodologic tools to reduce the cancer burden.

R. Ballard-Barbash (signature)

Research Initiatives

BCSC Reports Novel Findings in Breast Cancer Risk & Screening Effectiveness

In its first two years of funding, the "Risk-Based Breast Cancer Screening in Community Settings" (BCSC-P01) program project achieved major advances in understanding breast cancer risk, effectiveness of screening mammography in women at elevated risk, and use of breast magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The studies summarized below represent the first time these findings have been reported in scientific journals. Read more....

Tools Will Aid Treatment Decision Making for Breast Cancer

"The Challenge of Individualizing Treatment for Patients with Breast Cancer", an ARP-funded P01 project, has completed its first year of funding. Supported by strong administrative, methods, and dissemination cores, the project's overall aim is to facilitate decision making among physicians and patients diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer. Read more....

Patterns of Care Study to Focus on HCC, CML, & Late-stage Breast Cancer

The National Cancer Institute's annual Patterns of Care/Quality of Care (POC/QOC) studies are Congressionally mandated and managed by the Applied Research Program (ARP)'s Health Services and Economics Branch (HSEB). The POC/QOC studies evaluate the diffusion of cancer therapies in community health care settings by randomly sampling patients diagnosed with specific cancers and registered in the Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) program. Read more....

New Videos! Learn About CRN Data Resources & Collaboration Opportunities

The Cancer Research Network (CRN) provides a research environment that encourages and facilitates collaboration with external investigators. Three new videos present new potential collaborators with information about the CRN's research environment, data, and how to collaborate with the CRN. CRN scientists, NCI staff, and external collaborators are highlighted to offer a variety of perspectives. To view the videos, please visit http://crn.cancer.gov/videos.html. Read more....

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New & Forthcoming Data

MEPS Data Illuminate Cancer Survivors' Experiences

The Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS) is a nationally representative survey of the civilian noninstitutionalized population of all ages in the US. Conducted by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), the MEPS collects comprehensive data on health care utilization and expenditures. Read more....

New SEER-MHOS Data Available!

New data from the Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results-Medicare Health Outcomes Survey (SEER-MHOS) linked data set are now publicly available. Read more....

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Policy-Relevant Research Syntheses

Monograph Highlights Comparative Studies of Cancer Care, Costs, & Outcomes

The Applied Research Program (ARP) and Surveillance Research Program (SRP) are pleased to announce the publication of Comparing Cancer Care and Economic Outcomes Across Health Systems: Challenges and Opportunities in Journal of the National Cancer Institute Monographs (No. 46: Aug 2013). Read more....

Report Outlines Physical Activity Interventions for Youth

The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans Midcourse Report: Strategies to Increase Physical Activity Among Youth, issued in March 2013, describes intervention strategies for increasing physical activity among youth aged 3 to 17 years. Read more....

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Measures & Methods

Updated Dietary Quality Metric Available!

A new version of the Healthy Eating Index (HEI) is available. Sue Krebs-Smith and Jill Reedy, in ARP's Risk Factor and Monitoring and Methods Branch (RFMMB), and Sharon Kirkpatrick (formerly in RFMMB) collaborated with staff from the USDA Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion and the HHS Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion to revise the HEI to reflect the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Read more....

Expanded Database of Physical Activity Questionnaires Available

The Standardized Questionnaires of Walking & Bicycling Database Web site provides questionnaire items and a list of validation studies concerning walking and biking items from multiple national and international physical activity questionnaires and surveys (PAQs). Read more....

PRO-CTCAE: Enhancing Reporting of Symptomatic Adverse Events

Treatment tolerability is an important endpoint when making conclusions about therapeutic effectiveness, and as such, accurately gauging the toxicity profile of new agents is essential to oncology drug development. Treatment toxicity in cancer clinical trials is evaluated using NCI's toxicity grading lexicon -- Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events (CTCAE). Many of the toxicities included in the CTCAE are symptomatic side effects that are most validly and efficiently collected by direct patient report. Read more....

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Funding Opportunities & Grant Portfolio

Funding Opportunity: NCI Community Oncology Research Program (NCORP)

The NCI Community Oncology Research Program (NCORP), approved by the NCI Board of Scientific Advisors in June, 2013, will bring state-of-the-art cancer prevention, control, treatment and imaging clinical trials, cancer care delivery research, and disparities studies to individuals in their own communities. NCORP builds upon the success of the NCI Community Clinical Oncology Program (CCOP) network, adds elements of the NCI Community Cancer Centers Program (NCCCP), and creates a network for cancer care delivery research. Read more....

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Recent Meetings & Training Opportunities

PROSPR Reviews Progress, Outlines New Collaborative Projects

The September 2013 scientific meeting of the Population-based Research Optimizing Screening through Personalized Regimens (PROSPR) initiative brought together staff from the NCI, the PROSPR Research Centers, and the PROSPR Statistical Coordinating Center. The overall aim of PROSPR is to conduct multi-site, coordinated, transdisciplinary research to evaluate and improve cancer screening processes. The seven PROSPR research centers reflect the diversity of US delivery system organizations. Read more....

SEER-Medicare Workshop Covers Data Acquisition & Methodologic Approaches

A SEER-Medicare Data Training Workshop, held on April 25-26, 2013 in Rockville, MD, gave overviews of the Medicare Program/data, SEER data, and linked SEER-Medicare data, including how to obtain it, and provider data. Read more....

Webinar Presents Developments in Tobacco Use Data

A two-hour webinar covering new developments in the Tobacco Use Supplement to the Current Population Survey (TUS-CPS) was held on September 17, 2013. The webinar covered topics including new linkages, best practices for accessing and analyzing the data, and the release of the 2010/2011 wave and longitudinal data. Read more....

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Welcome New Staff

Ann Geiger

Dr. Ann Geiger is Chief of the Health Services and Economics Branch (HSEB) in ARP. Dr. Geiger provides leadership in advancing HSEB's mission: to study demographic, social, economic, and health system factors as they relate to preventive, screening, diagnostic, and treatment services for cancer and to develop and improve the methods and techniques of economics and health services research related to cancer. Read more....

Lindsey Enewold

Lindsey Enewold, PhD, MPH is an Epidemiologist in the Health Services and Economics Branch (HSEB) of ARP. Previously, Dr. Enewold worked for the U.S. Military Cancer Institute assessing cancer incidence, treatment and prognosis using the Department of Defense's (DoD) linked cancer registry and administrative billing data. Read more....

Erin Kent

Erin Kent, Ph.D., M.S. is an Epidemiologist in the Outcomes Research Branch of the Applied Research Program. Prior to joining ARP, Dr. Kent was a Cancer Prevention Fellow (CPF) in the Office of Cancer Survivorship under Dr. Julia Rowland. As a CPF, Dr. Kent worked on a number of projects, including the Follow up Care Use among Survivors (FOCUS) Study, the Health, Eating, Activity and Lifestyle (HEAL) Study, and the Adolescent and Young Adult Health Outcomes and Patient Experiences (AYA HOPE) Study. Read more....

Tommie McKoy

Tommie McKoy is an Extramural Support Specialist. Prior to joining ARP, Tommie was a Division of Extramural Activities Support (DEAS) Supervisory Extramural Support Program Specialist with the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA). Read more....

Tonya Parker

Tonya Parker is a Program Analyst in the ARP Office of the Associate Director. Prior to joining ARP, Ms. Parker was a Program Analyst with the NCI Office of Cancer Survivorship, where she was responsible for providing technical guidance and programmatic support in the areas of portfolio analysis, grants/contracts management, budget and strategic planning. Read more....

TusaRebecca Schap

TusaRebecca Schap, PhD, MPH, RD is a Cancer Prevention Fellow in the Risk Factor Monitoring and Methods Branch. Prior to joining the NCI, she received her doctorate in Nutrition Science from Purdue University, where her research involved the implementation of studies to evaluate a mobile telephone food record designed to improve the accuracy of self-reported dietary assessment. Read more....

Julia Strasser

Julia Strasser, MPH is a Research Associate in the Office of the Associate Director of ARP. Since joining ARP in October 2012, she has worked on the following projects and initiatives: the Person-Centered Outcomes Research Resource (PCORR) Funding Opportunity Announcement (released June 2013), the Tobacco Use Supplement to the Current Population Survey (TUS-CPS), the Automated Self-Administered 24-Hour Dietary Recall (ASA24), the Healthy Eating Index (HEI-2010), the Dietary Patterns Methods Project (DPMP), the Breast Cancer Surveillance Consortium (BCSC), and Population-Based Research Optimizing Screening through Personalized Regimens (PROSPR). Read more....

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Last Modified: 11 Apr 2014