2007 Cohort Consortium Annual Meeting

Large-Scale Collaborations Making A Difference

The NCI Cohort Consortium held its 2007 annual meeting, hosted by the Division of Cancer Control and Population SciencesExternal Web Site Policy (DCCPS) and Division of Cancer Epidemiology and GeneticsExternal Web Site Policy (DCEG), on November 13-14, 2007 in Bethesda, MD. The meeting spotlighted the research of many investigators who are supported through the DCCPS Epidemiology and Genomics Research Program (EGRP), which manages NCI's cancer epidemiology grant portfolio.

More than 100 scientists working on cohort studies attended the 2007 meeting that included keynote talks by Robert Croyle, Ph.D., DCCPS Director, on "NCI Update and Perspectives" and Joseph F. Fraumeni, Jr., M.D., DCEG Director, on "Consortial Power and GWAS in 2007." View the 2007 Cohort Consortium Annual Meeting agenda.

Extraordinary Year for Prostate Cancer Research

Secretariat member Michael J. Thun, M.D., American Cancer Society, moderated a lively session on recent advances in prostate cancer generated by the EGRP-funded Breast and Prostate Cancer Cohort Consortium (BPC3) and the NCI Cancer Genetic Markers of SusceptibilityExternal Web Site Policy (CGEMS) project. Stephen J. Chanock, M.D., Director of the NCI Core Genotyping Facility and Chief of the DCEG Laboratory of Translational Genomics, shared highlights of the discovery of the association of genetic variation in chromosome 8q24 and prostate cancer together with panelists Fredrick Schumacher, Ph.D., Harvard School of Public Health, Christopher Haiman, Sc.D., University of Southern California, and Richard B. Hayes, D.D.S, Ph.D., DCEG, who discussed the extraordinary year in prostate cancer genetics research and proposed future directions.

Robert N. Hoover, M.D., Sc.D., DCEG, led a panel discussion on the numerous major advances in breast cancer to emerge from BPC3 and CGEMS during the year, with presentations by Peter Kraft, Ph.D., Harvard School of Public Health, David Cox, Ph.D., Harvard School of Public Health, Heather Feigelson, Ph.D., American Cancer Society, and Brian Henderson, M.D., University of Southern California.

Cohort Consortium leaders, left to right: Chinonye Harvey, M.P.H., NCI Epidemiology and Genomics Research Program (EGRP), Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences (DCCPS); Kathy Helzlsouer, M.D., Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health; Anne Zeleniuch-Jacquotte, M.D., New York University; Robert N. Hoover, M.D., Sc.D., NCI Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics (DCEG); Julie Palmer, Sc.D., Boston University; James Cerhan, M.D., Ph.D., Mayo Clinic; Patricia Hartge, M.A., Sc.D., NCI DCEG; Michael J. Thun, M.D., American Cancer Society; and Deborah Winn, Ph.D., NCI EGRP Acting Associate Director. Not pictured Geoffrey Tobias, NCI DCEG.


Attention to Less Common Cancers

In 2007, the Cohort Consortium launched a series of studies of less common cancers which were described in a discussion session moderated by outgoing Secretariat member Kathy Helzlsouer, M.D., Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Rachael Stolzenberg-Solomon, Ph.D., DCEG, gave an update on the genome-wide association study in pancreatic cancer, Graham Colditz, M.D., Dr.P.H., Washington University, discussed multiple myeloma, and Virginia Hartmuller, Ph.D., R.D., EGRP, and Lisa Gallicchio, Ph.D., Mercy Medical Center, Baltimore, MD, presented an update on a pooled analysis from the BPC3 cohorts measuring pre-diagnostic serum vitamin D samples to determine whether low levels of the vitamin are associated with increased risk of seven less common cancers. EGRP supports PanScan and the Vitamin D research projects.

Secretariat member Julie Palmer, Sc.D., Boston University, chaired a panel discussion on methodologic topics including study design issues, presented by Clarice Weinberg, Ph.D., National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS); methods for assessing dietary intake in epidemiologic studies, presented by Arthur Schatzkin, M.D., Dr.P.H., DCEG, and Amy Subar, Ph.D., R.D., DCCPS; whole-genome amplification of buccal cell DNA, presented by Montserrat García-Closas, M.D., Dr.P.H., DCEG; and the use of Medicare/Medicaid databases for ascertainment of non-cancer outcomes, presented by Secretariat member James Cerhan, M.D., Ph.D., Mayo Clinic.

Secretariat member Anne Zeleniuch-Jacquotte, M.D., New York University, and Deborah Winn, Ph.D., EGRP Acting Associate Director, led a discussion of major challenges faced by cohorts in the consortium studies. The final session of the meeting focused on evaluation of ten promising new proposals for consortial studies and development of a strategic plan.

Looking Ahead in the Cohort Consortium

The major goals for the Cohort Consortium in 2008 were to: 1) continue support for the major ongoing projects; 2) foster additional Genome Wide Association Studies in other uncommon cancers and relevant subpopulations, such as African-American men; 3) launch a large analysis (e.g. BMI and cancer risks) from questionnaire data; 4) explore alternative ways to fund cohort infrastructure maintenance; 5) continue to develop methods for "newer" cohorts and those in the field; 6) Continue to foster new opportunities for consortial projects; 6) develop liaisons with other consortia; and 7) enhance statistical advice across projects.

Patricia Hartge, Sc.D., chaired the Cohort Consortium Secretariat for2007-2008. Chinonye (Nonye) Harvey, M.P.H., EGRP, is Consortium Coordinator. Geoffrey Tobias, DCEG, is Consortium Executive Secretary. Members of the Cohort Consortium Secretariat include: Drs. James Cerhan, Robert Hoover, Julie Palmer, Michael Thun, Deborah Winn, Anne Zeleniuch-Jacquotte.

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