CRN Monthly Update for April 2013

In this issue:


We had a well-attended and successful series of meetings in conjunction with the Health Care Systems Research Network Annual Meeting. During the meeting, several CRN researchers, including Karen Wernli at Group Health, Sarah Cutrona at Meyers, and Mark Hornbrook at KP Northwest, presented work related to colorectal cancer screening and care. Tom Delate of KP Colorado presented findings related to bevacizumab use in advanced non-small-cell lung cancer. Several posters were also presented, including posters describing the CRN, two of its Scientific Working Groups, and related projects.

Abstracts related to these presentations are available for the oral presentations (PDF) External Web Site Policy (see Session A-2), and for the poster presentations (PDF) External Web Site Policy. The poster describing the CRN is available on the CRN Portal.

The in-person meeting of the CRN Steering Committee covered a lot of territory, including administrative issues such as budgets, subcontracts and the upcoming Progress Report, status of the Scholars and Pilot Projects Program, and enhancing outreach and communications. It is clear that although we have a strong foundation and enthusiastic support, we also have a lot of work ahead to best service the promotion of outstanding cancer research in our settings.

Clockwise from left: Kathy Mazor, Emilee Pressman, Steven Clauser, Mark Hornbrook, Jessica Chubak, Bob Greenlee, Rachel Ballard-Barbash, Pamala Pawloski, Joanna Bulkley, Paul Doria-Rose and Larry Kushi.

Several CRN Members and NCI Staff at the 2013 HCSRN Annual Conference

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An NCI-sponsored symposium about CRN4 was held on April 9, 2013 at the American Association of Cancer Research (AACR) annual meeting in Washington, D.C.

Paul Doria-Rose presented the "NCI Context: The Evolution of the CRN Research Resource," Larry Kushi gave an "Overview of CRN Structure/Capacity," Virginia Quinn described the CRN "Scientific Working Groups," and Kathy Mazor provided a guide for "Collaborating with the CRN." Christine Ambrosone, from Roswell Park Cancer Institute and the external co-lead of the Epidemiology of Prognosis & Outcomes SWG, served as a discussant.

The AACR conference is a premier cancer research meeting and provided an important opportunity to introduce the CRN4 to the scientific community including representatives from funding agencies. The full slide presentation can be found on the CRN Portal.

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Scholars Update

We had a great kick off meeting for the Scholars program in San Francisco. A highlight was our Ignite presentationsExternal Web Site Policy, which were great fun for learning about each other and the Scholars' projects. The Scholars have outlined priority topics for the next six months of webinars. Scholars will be contacting many of you to ask for your participation on up-coming webinars and we hope you will be willing to join us.

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Pilot Project Update

The CRN Pilot Projects Program announced a call for Letters of Intent for Pilot and Developmental Projects on March 1, 2013, with a submission deadline of April 12. We received 41 applications, including 19 in which the Principal Investigator is at an academic research institution outside the Health Care Systems Research Network.

These LOIs are currently being reviewed, and we expect to notify those selected to submit full applications in early May. Full applications will be due June 21, 2013.

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Scientific Working Group/Core Updates

The purpose of the SWGs is to provide a forum for promoting cancer research in areas where the CRN can make innovative or unique contributions. The SWGs will be identifying research topics and pursuing funding to support projects that advance our knowledge in cancer prevention and care.

Informatics Core: CRNnet is functional with nine sites currently participating, including seven of the nine CRN sites and two affiliate sites. We will be sending initial QA requests in the coming weeks.

Communication & Dissemination: We held our first in-person meeting at the HCSRN Annual Meeting, with 13 attendees from seven CRN sites and the NCI. Sarah Cutrona (Meyers Primary Care Institute and UMass Medical School) presented a proposal idea for feedback: An integrated e-health/m-health peer-driven intervention to promote colorectal cancer screening. Sarah Madrid (Institute for Health Research, Kaiser Permanente Colorado) discussed the work she and others at KPCO have been doing around patient engagement. Also at the HCSRN the C&D SWG presented a poster. On April 25th we held our second monthly call; ten people from three sites and two affiliate sites participated. Borsika Rabin (Institute for Health Research, Kaiser Permanente Colorado) presented a research idea related to internet-based cancer prognostic tools for feedback and discussion.

Our next monthly call is scheduled for May 23rd from 4-5pm Eastern Time. If you would like to present an idea for feedback or discussion please contact James Nutter at:

Health Care Quality & Cost: We had a very successful meeting at the HCSRN conference. We met with several new collaborators, including CRN Scholars Mateo Banegas and Pam Pawloski and three CRN Pilot Project applicants. HCQ&C investigators made two oral and six poster presentations. We completed and distributed the Burden dataset guide (available upon request). Attendance at our HCQ&C meeting included 16 CRN, NCI, and external scientists. We also had several one-on-one meetings with interested potential collaborators to provide additional guidance for defining feasible CRN-affiliated projects.

Prevention & Screening: To date we have 35 scientists interested in participating in the Prevention & Screening SWG -- 28 who responded to the SWG Interest Survey and an additional seven who attended the in-person P&S SWG meeting at the HCSRN conference. We are having monthly calls with our core group complemented by electronic communications. These will be supplemented by quarterly calls for the full group of all interested parties. We are in the process of developing a list of priority activities for the leadership and participants. The SWG leaders continue to work with CRN Scholars, unfunded Scholar applicants, and potential applicants for CRN pilot funding. To disseminate information about the CRN/SWG, Doug Corley will be presenting at Digestive Disease Week and the BEACON annual workshop at University of North Carolina in May on "Opportunities in Patient Oriented Research: CRN Perspective".

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CRN Portal

The portal has undergone some recent refreshments. Changes include new folders for all SWGs, Committees and Cores under CRN 4. This space is available for posting shared content: Meeting minutes, Agendas, Policies, etc. Each space can be tailored to suit your group's needs.

Want to add new users? Please make sure to review the guidance document, available on the CRN Portal.

Contact with any Portal questions.

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CRN Video Project

The Video Project is officially underway! Janet Byron and Maureen Mcinaney of the Division of Research Communications Team graciously agreed to help us film and produce two CRN informational videos- one on Collaborating with the CRN, and one on the Scholars Program. When complete, these videos will be posted on our Web site and can be used as a resource for people inquiring about the CRN.

We shot some fantastic interviews during the HCSRN Conference; they were informative, impactful, and inspiring. Sincere gratitude goes out to everyone who volunteered their time and effort. We hope to complete the videos sometime this summer, so be on the lookout!

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Funding Opportunities

LOI Due 5/20: Research Funds for Provocative Questions Now Available. The National Cancer Institute (NCI) is looking for bold new approaches to answer 24 perplexing scientific questions identified by the community. Applications are due June 20, 2013.

LOI Due 6/19: PCORI's Improving Infrastructure for Conducting Patient-Centered Outcomes ResearchExternal Web Site Policy. Pre-LOI Webinar will be held June 3, 3:00pm EST. Applications are due September 27, 2013.

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Upcoming Conferences

May 18-21, 2013 - Digestive Disease Week (DDW)External Web Site Policy. Orlando, FL.

May 22-23, 2013 - Barret's and Esophageal Adenocarcinoma Consortium Annual Workshop (BEACON) Annual WorkshopExternal Web Site Policy. UNC-Chapel Hill, NC.

May 31-June 1, 2013 - American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO)External Web Site Policy, Chicago IL. Building Bridges to Conquer Cancer.

June 18-21, 2013 - Society for Epidemiologic Research (SER) Annual meetingExternal Web Site Policy, Boston MA.

June 19-22, 2013 - Special AACR conference on Chromatin and Epigenetics in CancerExternal Web Site Policy, Atlanta, GA.

June 24-27, 2013 - Clinical and Translational Science Institute, Annual International Science of Team Science (SciTS) ConferenceExternal Web Site Policy, Evanston IL.

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