December 2018 Cancer Epidemiology Matters E-News
Cancer Epidemiology Matters E-News
2018 Year in Review
- Message from the Associate Director
- Supporting Researchers
- Scientific Meetings and Webinars
- Updated Resources for Researchers
Message from Associate Director, Epidemiology and Genomics Research Program
On behalf of all my colleagues in the Epidemiology and Genomics Research Program (EGRP), we wish you all peace, health, and happiness throughout the holiday season and in the New Year.
EGRP’s mission is to support research in human populations to understand determinants of cancer occurrence and outcomes. We are happy to report that the overall number of funded projects that EGRP oversees increased in fiscal year 2018, as did the number of investigators supported by the Early Stage Investigator mechanism.
Members of our group have been very active in developing funding announcements related to the Cancer Moonshot Initiative in collaboration with members of other Programs and Offices across the Division of Cancer Control and Populations Sciences (DCCPS) and the National Cancer Institute (NCI) more broadly. EGRP staff have also continued to develop funding announcements for other areas of research, as you will see in the funding opportunities list below.
We greatly appreciate all the work that you do to advance our shared goals to improve the health of the public and those who have been diagnosed with cancer.
Kathy J. Helzlsouer, M.D., M.H.S.
Cancer Moonshot Initiative
Many EGRP staff have been involved with NCI’s implementation teams for the Cancer Moonshot Initiative. Team members are participating in NCI’s efforts to:
- Establish a network for direct patient engagement;
- Improve prevention and early detection of hereditary cancers with funding opportunity announcements (FOAs) RFA-CA-19-017, Approaches to Identify and Care for Individuals with Inherited Cancer Syndromes and RFA-CA-19-001, Communication and Decision Making for Individuals with Inherited Cancer Syndromes; and
- Advance pediatric, adolescent, and young adult cancer research and treatments, improve cancer surveillance, and enhance resources for survivors and their families though the Childhood Cancer Survivorship, Treatment, Access and Research (STAR) Act.
EGRP joins with other Divisions, Offices, and Centers at NCI and other NIH Institutes to fund investigator-initiated research and applications submitted in response to FOAs. EGRP supports projects in the United States and globally.
The included graphic provides a quick snapshot of our commitment to funding cancer epidemiology research in the extramural community in fiscal year 2018. Learn more about active cancer epidemiology projects.
Several new and re-issued FOAs, on which EGRP staff serve as scientific contacts, were published in 2018, including:
- Improving Outcomes in Cancer Treatment-Related Cardiotoxicity
- Time-Sensitive Obesity Policy and Program Evaluation
- Diet and Physical Activity Assessment Methodology
- Age-related Microbiota Changes and their Implications in Chronic Disease Prevention, Treatment and Progression Announcement Numbers
- Epidemiologic Research on Emerging Risk Factors and Liver Cancer Susceptibility
- Modular R01s in Cancer Control and Population Sciences
- Mechanisms of Disparities in Etiology and Outcomes of Lung Cancer in the U.S.: The Role of Risk and Protective Factors
- Administrative Supplements to Support Cancer Disparity Collaborative Research
Scientific Meetings and Webinars
In collaboration with other NCI and NIH programs, EGRP brought together experts and interested individuals to collaborate on finding solutions to pressing scientific questions and research needs.
A conference on cancer treatment-related cardiotoxicity, sponsored by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), took place in June of 2018. It brought together experts in multiple disciplines within cardiology and oncology to discuss progress over the past five years and to redefine research priorities moving forward.
"Measuring Aging and Identifying Aging Phenotypes in Cancer Survivors", a July 2018 think tank meeting, was the first in a series of deliberations for the Cancer & Accelerated Aging Initiative to identify research gaps and promising approaches to improve the ability to understand, predict, and mitigate short- and long-term aging-related consequences of cancer and cancer treatment.
The Annual meeting of the NCI Cohort Consortium was held in November of 2018. It included a strategic planning session where the future scientific directions of the NCI Cohort Consortium were discussed. It also included presentations on tissue repositories, as well as the implications of new privacy protections and regulations on NIH-funded research and international collaborations, such as the European Union General Data Protection Regulation. The meeting featured reports from select Cohort Consortium Project/Working Groups, updates from international consortia, and poster presentations from the working groups.
Updates on 2017 Meetings
- A publication was released in November of 2018 on the Workshop on Next Steps in Studying Human Microbiome and Health in Prospective Studies.
- Recordings are available of 15 presentations from the September 2017 workshop, Understanding the Role of Muscle and Body Composition in Studies of Cancer Risk and Prognosis in Cancer Survivors. Links to the recordings are embedded throughout the workshop agenda. The videos are also available on a YouTube playlist for the workshop.
In addition to offering webcasts for many of the meetings listed above, EGRP organized 18 webinars in 2018 for four recurring webinar series focused on topics related to cancer epidemiologic research in understudied populations, ethical and regulatory issues in cancer research (a partnership between EGRP and NCI’s Division of Cancer Treatment and Diagnosis), infectious agents and cancer epidemiology research, and sequencing strategies for population-based studies.
EGRP also introduced a new webinar mini-series this year focused on research on rare cancers. The purpose of this webinar series is to highlight work being done to investigate various aspects of rare cancers, (including studies on etiology, risk, prognosis, and survivorship) and to better understand the challenges, and strategies to overcome these challenges, related to studying rare cancers. The first webinar in the Rare Cancer Webinar Series took place on September 25 with presenter Brock Christensen, Ph.D., who presented on micro-RNA genetic variation related to head and neck cancer risk and survival. The second webinar took place on December 6 – Michael Grever, M.D.; Corrie Painter, Ph.D.; and Joellen Schildkraut, Ph.D. discussed different strategies that have been successfully used by investigators to recruit individuals diagnosed with rare or understudied cancers into research studies.
Updated Resources for Researchers
EGRP continues to expand existing research resources for the cancer epidemiology community and make new resources available for cancer epidemiology and genomic research.
New Sample Grants
The Sample Grant Applications web page is an online resource that provides model applications for researchers to reference when seeking funding for their own projects. This year, EGRP posted new examples of successfully funded grant applications for cancer epidemiology research. Although EGRP has featured examples of cancer epidemiology grant applications on its website since 2013, changes to NIH policies and application forms during the last few years made it necessary to showcase more recent examples of R01, R21, and R03 applications.
In November, EGRP released the 2018 version of the Automated Self-Administered 24-Hour (ASA24®) Dietary Assessment Tool. ASA24-2018 includes all of the features in the 2016 version of ASA24 as well as the ability for Respondents to report, save and modify recipes. The underlying nutrient, food group, and supplement databases were also updated. A recorded webinar with more details about the newest version of ASA24, along with answers to commonly asked questions about ASA24, is available on NCI’s YouTube channel.
Cancer Epidemiology Descriptive Cohort Database (CEDCD)
The CEDCD is a searchable database of descriptive information about existing cohorts, including study design, eligibility criteria, enrollment numbers, numbers of biospecimens, numbers of cancer cases other health outcomes, and study contact information. We recently conducted user testing with several volunteers from the research community (thank you!) and are currently making several updates based on their experiences. Please send any feedback you have on the CEDCD to Joanne Elena, Ph.D., M.P.H. Stay tuned for future updates about this resource for cohort study information.