CRN Monthly Update for May/June 2015

In this issue:


NIH Precision Medicine Initiative

As many know, President Obama announced a new research initiative in precision medicine during his 2015 State of the Union address. Funding is planned for incorporation into the 2016 NIH and NCI budget. The CRN and the HCSRN are well-poised to contribute to this initiative given our research experience with studies using electronic health records, and projects such as the Marshfield Personalized Medicine Research Project and KPNC's Research Program on Genes, Environment and Health. Currently, an Advisory Committee to the Director of the NIH is determining the focus of the Precision Medicine Initiative through workshops and Requests for Information. An RFI was released on May 29 to solicit input on community engagement and health disparities. Responses to the RFI will help inform the work of the Advisory Committee.

CRN Scholars Program

Congratulations to our cohort of CRN Scholars who have just completed their participation in the 26-month program. As indicated by the accomplishments of several of the Scholars, this group is well on its way toward developing careers with strong interests in cancer research in the integrated health care setting. We hope to see great success in this group of scientists, and they have already been great advocates for the research opportunities in the CRN. The recent Scholars Program graduates can be seen on the 2015 Scholar Cohort page.

Breastfeeding May Decrease Risk of Recurrence After Breast Cancer

Women diagnosed with breast cancer who previously breastfed their babies had a 30 percent overall decreased risk of the disease recurring, according to a new Kaiser Permanente study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. In addition, researchers found that the protective effect of breastfeeding was more pronounced for tumors of particular genetic subtypes, including the most commonly diagnosed of all breast cancers. This study demonstrates the potential of linking follow-up of members of CRN health plans, in this case, KPNC with molecular assays and active data collection conducted for research purposes.

Breastfeeding, PAM50 Tumor Subtype, and Breast Cancer Prognosis and Survival.
Kwan ML, Bernard PS, Kroenke CH, Factor RE, Habel LA, Weltzien EK, Castillo A, Gunderson EP, Maxfield KS, Stijleman IJ, Langholz BM, Quesenberry CP Jr, Kushi LH, Sweeney C, Caan BJ. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2015 Apr 28;107(7).

This study was also recently featured in the NYTimes Well BlogExternal Web Site Policy, and the San Francisco ChronicleExternal Web Site Policy.

PCORI Grant Funded

Steven Chang, MD at Henry Ford Health System was awarded a PCORI Pipeline to ProposalExternal Web Site Policy grant for his project "What's the SCOOP? Discovering Quality-of-Life Outcomes That Matter to Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the Oropharynx (SCOOP) Patients and Their Families". This project is an effort to engage current oropharynx patient survivors to learn about how they feel survivorship should be studied. Dr. Chang hopes this research will reveal insight about both the patient perspective and the clinicians perspective on how to best treat this disease.

[Return to Top]

New Prep-to-Research Request Form

The Coordinating Center has digitized the new Prep-to-Research (PTR) Data Request FormExternal Web Site Policy. All PTR requests can be submitted using this web-based form. As before, PTR data can be requested by any investigator who wishes to obtain summary counts to help with a grant application. (**Please note that this form requires the use of an updated browser).

[Return to Top]

Opportunity Funds

The CRN will continue to accept applications for Opportunity Funds. This solicitation is focused specifically on support of activities that will result in submission of an R01 or similar application for grant funding.

Please note that opportunity funds requested to support preliminary work for R01 grant applications with submission dates after October 2015 will not be awarded until September 1, 2015.

To view the Information Packet with more information about the Opportunity Fund, including who can apply, evaluation criteria, and more, please visit our website.

[Return to Top]

Welcome New Investigators!

Matthew Banegas

Matthew (Mateo) P. Banegas, PhD, MPH has been appointed as an Investigator at the Kaiser Permanente Northwest Center for Health Research (CHR). Dr. Banegas has been an affiliated Clinical Investigator with CHR since 2013, and was attracted by the opportunity to conduct research that can draw on, and be applied in, a real-world health care delivery system. He joins CHR from the National Cancer Institute, where he was a Cancer Prevention Fellow in the Health Services and Economics Branch. Trained in health services research, with an emphasis on cancer prevention and control, Dr. Banegas is interested in assessing the outcomes, costs, and value of care delivered for patients with cancer. He has led research projects on risk prediction modeling, cancer screening, decision-making, cancer outcomes, cost of care, and health disparities. In 2013, he was selected as a Cancer Research Network (CRN) Scholar for Cohort III (2013-2015), working with a team of investigators to assess the lifetime costs of cancer care in integrated health care settings. Currently, Dr. Banegas is working on studies that evaluate the financial burden of cancer.

[Return to Top]

KP TRIO Quarterly Meetings

Next Meeting is June 18, 2015 8:30-11am PT

Although the focus of KP TRIO has been on issues with a specific focus on Kaiser Permanente interests, many, if not most, discussion items are likely of interest to the CRN community. If you are interested in receiving notifications about upcoming agendas, please contact Heather Clancy.

[Return to Top]

Recent CRN-Related Publications

Abnet CC, Corley DA, Freedman ND, Kamangar F. Diet and upper gastrointestinal malignancies. Gastroenterology 2015 May;148(6):1234-1243.e4. [View Abstract]

Schneider JL, Davis J, Kauffman TL, Reiss JA, McGinley C, Arnold K, Zepp J, Gilmore M, Muessig KR, Syngal S, Acheson L, Wiesner GL, Peterson SK, Goddard KA. Stakeholder perspectives on implementing a universal Lynch syndrome screening program: a qualitative study of early barriers and facilitators. Genet Med 2015 Apr 16. [Epub ahead of print] [View Abstract]

Lee CI, Bogart A, Hubbard RA, Obadina ET, Hill DA, Haas JS, Tosteson AN, Alford-Teaster JA, Sprague BL, DeMartini WB, Lehman CD, Onega TL. Advanced Breast Imaging Availability by Screening Facility Characteristics. Acad Radiol 2015 Apr 4. pii: S1076-6332(15)00108-7. [Epub ahead of print] [View Abstract]

Chubak J, Onega T, Zhu W, Buist DS, Hubbard RA. An Electronic Health Record-based Algorithm to Ascertain the Date of Second Breast Cancer Events. Med Care 2015 Apr 3. [Epub ahead of print] [View Abstract]

Gao H, Aiello Bowles EJ, Carrell D, Buist DS. Using natural language processing to extract mammographic findings. J Biomed Inform 2015 Apr;54:77-84. [View Abstract]

Haque R, Shi J, Schottinger JE, Ahmed SA, Chung J, Avila C, Lee VS, Cheetham TC, Habel LA, Fletcher SW, Kwan ML. A hybrid approach to identify subsequent breast cancer using pathology and automated health information data. Med Care 2015 Apr;53(4):380-5. doi: 10.1097/MLR.0000000000000327. [View Abstract]

[Return to Top]

Calls for Abstracts

ASCO's Breast Cancer SymposiumExternal Web Site Policy - Abstracts due June 16, 2015.

Palliative Care in Oncology SymposiumExternal Web Site Policy - Abstracts due June 23, 2015

AACR Conference on the Science of Cancer Health Disparities in Racial/Ethnic Minorities and the Medically UnderservedExternal Web Site Policy - Abstracts due Thursday, August 6, 2015.

[Return to Top]

Additional Funding Opportunities

NCI Provocative Questions - Applications Due June 29th

PQ 12 - What methods and approaches induce physicians and health systems to abandon ineffective interventions or discourage adoption of unproven interventions?

Intent: Well-intentioned efforts to speed diffusion of research results into practice may result in the adoption of new treatments and approaches to care before their effectiveness has been documented. Multiple studies have documented the continued use of some medical treatments and approaches to cancer care known to be ineffective. This Provocative Question seeks hypothesis-driven studies that explicitly examine how physicians and/or health systems can be induced to diminish delivery of ineffective or unproven cancer care. Responsive applications may, for example, involve the study of natural experiments, such as changes in reimbursement or institutional policy, or the development and testing of interventions targeted at providers or delivery systems. Studies focused on patient factors or including interventions involving only patients are not responsive to this question.

AGING Initiative Seeking LOIs for Pilot Projects - LOI Due June 23External Web Site Policy

The HCSRN-OAICs AGING Initiative has released a new request for 1 year pilot proposals. Mandatory letters of intent are due by June 23. Invited applications will be due September 15. Download the Request for LOIs (PDF) External Web Site Policy. This program aims to bridge the Health Care Systems Research Network (HCSRN) with the Claude D. Pepper Older Americans Independence Centers (OAICs) to create a national resource to nurture and advance an interdisciplinary research agenda focused on older adults with multiple chronic conditions (MCCs). These efforts will lay the foundation to address knowledge gaps that exist regarding the health and healthcare of these understudied patients.

[Return to Top]

Employment Opportunities

Health Scientist, Outcomes Research
National Cancer Institute

The National Cancer Institute is conducting a national search for a Health Scientist to facilitate an innovative program of research related to outcomes measurement in cancer care, including quality of life, patient experiences of care, cancer survivorship and care quality. The position is in the Outcomes Research Branch (ORB) of the Healthcare Delivery Research Program, Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences in Rockville, MD. Candidates must have a Ph.D. or equivalent and demonstrated expertise in one or more of the following: behavioral science, social science, clinical medicine, nursing, psychology or social work, health services research. Candidates should also have a track record of peer-reviewed publications and an interest in health services and outcomes research. Interested applicants should submit a letter of interest, CV, and two representative publications to Kate McNeill. For questions, please contact Dr. Ashley Wilder Smith, ORB Chief. For full position description, visit our website.

CRTA Fellowship, Health Economics and Policy
National Cancer Institute

The National Cancer Institute invites applications for a one to five year post-doctoral fellowship position in health economics and policy. This position is in the Healthcare Assessment Research Branch of the Healthcare Delivery Research Program, Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences in Rockville, MD. The fellow will work on projects assessing the economic burden of cancer from the perspectives of patients and their families, employers, health insurers and society overall. Projects will also address the effects of various aspects of health insurance coverage on cancer control, from prevention to screening, early detection, treatment, survivorship, and end-of-life care. Candidates should possess a Ph.D. or equivalent degree in health economics, health services research, health policy, biostatistics, epidemiology, or a related discipline. Candidates who have completed coursework, but not yet defended their dissertation will also be considered. Interested applicants should submit a cover letter, CV, writing sample, two letters of recommendation, proof of citizenship, and official transcript to Janis Paige. For questions, please contact Dr. Robin Yabroff. For full position description, visit our website.

Copyright © 2015 The Cancer Research Network, All rights reserved.