Nearly 2 million Americans will receive a cancer diagnosis and more than 600,000 will die of cancer in 2019, according to the American Cancer Society. And cancer diagnoses and deaths are disproportionately high among people who live in rural counties, have low socioeconomic status, and are members of underserved racial and ethnic groups.
The Cancer Prevention and Control Research Network, CPCRN, a collaborative national network of academic centers engaged in cancer research, recently published 12 articles in Preventive Medicine from a five-year effort to improve inequities in cancer prevention and control. The studies illustrate the types of research possible within a network of geographically dispersed centers linked by a common cause — reducing cancer burden in diverse populations.
For the 2014-2019 funding cycle, the CPCRN member centers included cancer investigators across the nation, including multiple researchers at Oregon Health & Science University who contributed to six articles.
Jackilen Shannon, Ph.D., M.P.H., professor, OHSU-PSU School of Public Health; and associate director, OHSU Knight Cancer Institute community outreach and engagement, served as a guest editor for the special supplement. She says the articles “represent more than five years of collaboration with researchers across the country dedicated to improving cancer prevention activities and cancer outcomes for patients from all backgrounds and socioeconomic statuses.”
“Having a diversity of members in the CPCRN is critical, and OHSU has provided key context from a rural perspective,” says Shannon, also associate director of the Oregon Clinical and Translational Research Institute.
The supplemental issue represents a diversity of collaborative research products made possible by the research and scientific networking infrastructure enabled by CPCRN, which has been funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Cancer Institute (NCI), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), since 2002. The supplement has been published open access by Elsevier, and the full issue is available for download.
Together with colleagues Kerri Winters-Stone, Ph.D., Cynthia Perry, Ph.D., and Paige Farris, M.S.W., Shannon contributed to several studies examining implementation methods for cancer prevention efforts as well as the challenges of using population-based surveys.
Read the studies
- The cancer prevention and control research network: Accelerating the implementation of evidence-based cancer prevention and control interventions. (Guest Editor commentary)
- An application of the Science Impact Framework to the Cancer Prevention and Control Research Network from 2014-2018.
- Challenges of using nationally representative, population-based surveys to assess rural cancer disparities.
Melinda Davis, Ph.D., associate director, Oregon Rural Practice-based Research Network and associate professor of family medicine in the OHSU School of Medicine, co-authored three articles in the supplement; one study took a closer look at financial hardships among rural cancer survivors. She says the research provides information that was of immediate value to the health system partners “grappling with implementation decisions.”
Davis also led a study focused on screenings for colorectal cancer, including methods for increasing participation.
“Medicaid enrollees are less likely to get screened for colorectal cancer, but a microsimulation shows that interventions may improve screening rates, avert cancer cases, and be cost-effective,” Davis says. “Our findings suggest that if implemented over five years, mailed FIT (fecal immunochemical test) and patient navigation may enable Medicaid beneficiaries to approach and potentially surpass current national colorectal screening targets.”
Read the studies
- Mailed FIT (fecal immunochemical test), navigation or patient reminders? Using microsimulation to inform selection of interventions to increase colorectal cancer screening in Medicaid enrollees.
- Financial Hardship among Rural Cancer Survivors: An Analysis of the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey
- Estimating the impact of insurance expansion on colorectal cancer and related costs in North Carolina: A population-level simulation analysis.
These publications are a product of the Prevention Research Centers Program at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The findings and conclusions in these publications are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or the National Institutes of Health. The Cancer Prevention and Control Research Network is funded through Cooperative Agreements [3 U48 DP005013-01S1A3, 3 U48 DP005000-01S2, 3 U48 DP005053-01S1, 3 U48 DP005017-01S8, 3 U48 DP005006-01S3, 3 U48 DP005030-01S5, 3 U48 DP005021-01S4, 3 U48 DP005014-01S2] from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and National Cancer Institute.