CRN Monthly Update for May/June/July 2016

In this issue:

Greetings from the CRN

Since our last newsletter there has been a flurry of news relevant to cancer research. Perhaps most prominent are the coordinated meetings across the nation related to launching the "moonshot" initiative led by Vice President Joe Biden. Several CRN clinicians and researchers participated in one of these meetings. The CRN has also engaged in discussions related to some of the work on cancer-related data networks that may be a part of these efforts. More recently, initial funding for "health provider organizations" that are participating in the NIH's Precision Medicine Initiative Cohort program was announced. Although no CRN institutions were funded in this initial wave, we remain interested in how this program will develop and whether there are learnings that may help guide the research activities of CRN investigators.

Meanwhile, there continue to be announcements of initiatives to form collaborations among institutions to harness the potential promise of "big data" to address key questions and to identify new approaches in cancer care and prevention. The CRN, with its long track record of supporting collaborative research across a dozen institutions and its longstanding research data model, the Virtual Data Warehouse, provides an example of such a data network. As we engage in conversations with other networks or institutions interested in our experiences, we also look forward to improving our capabilities to support researchers at CRN institutions and elsewhere who are working toward decreasing the burden of cancer.

[Return to Top]

Rapid Analysis Demonstration Projects

The CRN’s resources and setting can be leveraged to contribute to the national precision medicine and cancer research agenda. In order to demonstrate this capability, the CRN has developed and is implementing a process to identify projects that are focused on clinically-relevant research questions. Analyses related to these questions should be able to be completed in a relatively short timeframe (months rather than years), and should be able to be conducted solely using data in the VDW without requirements for additional data elements, text string searches, direct data collection from patients or providers, or other more resource-intensive procedures. The VDW (Virtual Data Warehouse) contains data that have been extracted from each CRN institution's clinical and administrative databases and implemented in a common data format. Results should be of interest to clinicians, and also have a high likelihood of publication in peer-reviewed journals. Following a protocol that included solicitation of potential questions from researchers and clinicians at CRN institutions, determination of cancer relevance and feasibility, and prioritization based on scientific and clinical interest, the following questions were selected as the first set of questions to demonstrate rapid analysis of research questions using VDW data across the CRN.

What factors differentiate long-term cancer survivors from individuals diagnosed with the same cancers with similar prognostic characteristics?

Led by: Heather Spencer Feigelson, KP Colorado and Lawrence Kushi, KP Northern California

What are the patterns of treatment switching among chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) patients and how does this confer knowledge of resistance?

Led by: Debra Ritzwoller, KP Colorado and Mateo Banegas, KP Northwest

Are health system interventions to improve hormone therapy adherence in breast cancer effective?

Led by: Laurel Habel, KP Northern California and Lawrence Kushi, KP Northern California

What percentage of cancer survivors who received cancer therapies associated with development of peripheral neuropathy (e.g. paclitaxel) are currently prescribed medications (e.g. gabapentin) to treat these side effects? How do their outcomes differ from those not prescribed these medications?

Led by: Alyce Adams, KP Northern California, Jessica Chubak, Group Health Cooperative and Pamala Pawloski, HealthPartners

Did the US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommendation to stop prostate-specific antigen (PSA) screening for early detection/screening for prostate cancer impact PSA surveillance in men diagnosed and treated for prostate cancer?

Led by: Christine Neslund-Dudas, Henry Ford Health System, Mara Epstein, Meyers Primary Care Institute and Stacey Honda, KP Hawaii

How do trends in tumor characteristics compare between early-onset and normal/late-onset colorectal cancer cases, including stage at diagnosis, histologic features, microsatellite instability (MSI) status, and KRAS mutation status?

Led by: Andrea Burnett-Hartmann, KP Colorado and Christine Lu, Harvard Pilgrim Healthcare Institute

[Return to Top]

Recent Publications

Carter-Harris L, Tan AS, Salloum RG, Young-Wolff KC. Patient-provider discussions about lung cancer screening pre- and post-guidelines: Health Information National Trends Survey (HINTS). Patient Educ Couns 2016 May 17. pii: S0738-3991(16)30212-9. [Epub ahead of print] [View Abstract]

Greenlee H, Neugut AI, Falci L, Hillyer GC, Buono D, Mandelblatt JS, Roh JM, Ergas IJ, Kwan ML, Lee M, Tsai WY, Shi Z, Lamerato L, Kushi LH, Hershman DL. Association Between Complementary and Alternative Medicine Use and Breast Cancer Chemotherapy Initiation: The Breast Cancer Quality of Care (BQUAL) Study. JAMA Oncol 2016 May 12. [Epub ahead of print] [View Abstract]

Halm EA, Beaber EF, McLerran D, Chubak J, Corley DA, Rutter CM, Doubeni CA, Haas JS, Balasubramanian BA. Association Between Primary Care Visits and Colorectal Cancer Screening Outcomes in the Era of Population Health Outreach. J Gen Intern Med 2016 Jun 8. [Epub ahead of print] [View Abstract]

Klabunde CN, Zheng Y, Quinn VP, Beaber EF, Rutter CM, Halm EA, Chubak J, Doubeni CA, Haas JS, Kamineni A, Schapira MM, Vacek PM, Garcia MP, Corley DA; PROSPR consortium. Influence of Age and Comorbidity on Colorectal Cancer Screening in the Elderly. Am J Prev Med 2016 Jun 15. pii: S0749-3797(16)30127-1. [Epub ahead of print] [View Abstract]

Kwan ML, Shi JM, Habel LA, Song J, Chung JW, Avila CC, Schottinger JE, Cheetham TC, Fletcher SW, Haque R. Effectiveness of bisphosphonate use and risk of contralateral breast cancer and recurrence in women with early-stage breast cancer treated with tamoxifen. Breast Cancer Res Treat 2016 Apr;156(2):379-89. [View Abstract]

Nekhlyudov L, Walker R, Ziebell R, Rabin B, Nutt S, Chubak J. Cancer survivors' experiences with insurance, finances, and employment: results from a multisite study. J Cancer Surviv 2016 Jun 9. [Epub ahead of print] [View Abstract]

Taylor KL, Hoffman RM, Davis KM, Luta G, Leimpeter A, Lobo T, Kelly SP, Shan J, Aaronson D, Tomko CA, Starosta AJ, Hagerman CJ, Van Den Eeden SK. Treatment Preferences for Active Surveillance versus Active Treatment among Men with Low-Risk Prostate Cancer. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2016 Jun 2. [Epub ahead of print] [View Abstract]

[Return to Top]

Meetings and Calls for Abstracts

30th International Association of Breast Cancer Research ConferenceExternal Web Site Policy
Meeting dates: Aug 4-7, 2016, Portland OR.

Integrative Molecular Epidemiology WorkshopExternal Web Site Policy
Meeting dates: Aug 5-9, 2016. Boston, MA.

Conference on Geospatial Approaches to Cancer Control and Population SciencesExternal Web Site Policy
Meeting dates: September 12-14, 2016. Bethesda, MD.

9th Annual Conference on Dissemination and Implementation ResearchExternal Web Site Policy
Meeting Dates: December 14-15, 2016. Washington, DC.
Abstracts due by August 4, 2016

[Return to Top]

Additional Funding Opportunities

Standard NIH submission deadlines:
R01/U01 - Oct 5, 2016;
R21 - October 16, 2016

Astellas Oncology C3 PrizeExternal Web Site Policy

The C3 Prize is a challenge aimed at inspiring non-medicine and non-treatment innovation to change cancer care for patients and their loved ones as they navigate the cancer care continuum. The cancer care continuum encompasses all phases of care during illness, from diagnosis to the end of life.
Applications due by August 8, 2016.

[Return to Top]

Fellowship Opportunities

NCI Cancer Prevention Fellowship Program
Accepting Applications until August 25, 2016

The Cancer Prevention Fellowship Program (CPFP) is a postdoctoral training program open to scientists, researchers, and clinicians in the fields of cancer prevention and control. Watch our video to learn more about the unique features of the CPFP.

To learn more about eligibility requirements and application details, please visit our website,, or contact Additional program details can also be found in the comprehensive Cancer Prevention Fellowship Program Catalog (PDF) .

[Return to Top]

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