National Cancer Institute NCI Cancer Bulletin: A Trusted Source for Cancer Research News
November 29, 2011 • Volume 8 / Number 23


National Cancer Advisory Board Will Meet Next Week

The National Cancer Advisory Board (NCAB) will meet December 5–6 in Building 31 on the NIH main campus in Bethesda, MD.

The agenda is now available, and the proceedings will be broadcast live online. An archived videocast will be available a few days after the meeting.

Videocasts of past meetings are available here.

Proposals Sought for Use of PLCO Data and Biospecimens

Data and biospecimens from the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal, and Ovarian (PLCO) Cancer Screening Trial are available to qualified researchers through a peer-review process. The Etiology and Early Marker Studies (EEMS) program accepts proposals for access to PLCO biospecimens twice a year, with the current cycle ending on January 16, 2012, at 5:00 p.m. ET.

By collecting biologic materials and risk factor information from trial participants before the diagnosis of disease, EEMS—a component of the PLCO—provides a resource for cancer researchers who are studying cancer etiology and early detection. Etiologic studies investigate the environmental, biochemical, and genetic risk factors for cancer. Early detection studies aim to develop reproducible, reliable biomarkers of early disease.

Proposals will be accepted for the next EEMS review cycle starting December 1. Details of the review process and application materials are available online. Questions may be directed to or 240-314-2313. Proposals for the next cycle will be accepted in June or July 2012.

Cyber-Seminar Will Address Systems Thinking to Solve Public Health Problems

Research to Reality bannerThe December 14 NCI Research to Reality (R2R) cyber-seminar will feature an overview by Dr. Allan Best on systems thinking and practical tools to help solve complex population health issues. 

Addressing these health issues often requires intervention and engagement with key stakeholders and organizations across many levels, ranging from local entities (schools, churches, and work environments), to regional systems (health departments and hospital networks), to entire countries (national agencies). This multilevel, multiparticipant view is at the heart of systems thinking, a process of understanding how parts influence one another within a whole.

Drs. Ross Brownson and Ken McLeroy will provide real-world examples of how systems models can be applied in a variety of settings. Dr. Brownson will highlight the use of concept mapping and discuss the different levels that should be considered when implementing evidence-based programs within organizations or developing public health policies. Dr. McLeroy's presentation will focus on the use of social network analysis as a tool to analyze community capacity and ensure that organizations and communities are working together to develop, implement, evaluate, and sustain effective programs. 

For more information and to register for this event, visit the R2R website, where you can watch presentations and join discussions. This cyber-seminar will be available on the R2R website approximately 1 week after the presentation.

If you missed any of the past cyber-seminars, you can view them in the R2R archive.

NCI Guide on Communicating Data to Lay Audiences Now Available

Cover for Making Data Talk: A Workbook

Making Data Talk: A Workbook helps public health practitioners, scientists, health educators, clinicians, researchers, students, and statisticians effectively communicate data to lay audiences.

The workbook, based on the book Making Data Talk: Communicating Public Health Data to the Public, Policy Makers, and the Press, by Drs. David E. Nelson, Bradford W. Hesse, and Robert T. Croyle of NCI's Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences, provides key information, practical suggestions, and examples on how to successfully communicate health-related scientific data.

The workbook also offers recommendations about selecting and presenting data and introduces the OPT-IN (organize, plan, test, integrate) framework, which guides public health practitioners on how to present health data to lay audiences. Many chapters also include practice exercises that use real-world examples to reinforce and apply key concepts.

Making Data Talk: A Workbook is available in print and electronic formats. Visit NCI's website to order a copy or download the workbook.

Major League Baseball Limits Players' Use of Tobacco

Major League Baseball (MLB) and the MLB Players Association announced a 5-year collective bargaining agreement on November 22 that includes limits on smokeless tobacco use.

The agreement prohibits players, managers, and coaches from using smokeless tobacco during televised interviews, club appearances, or other events where fans are permitted. In addition, players, managers, and coaches may not carry tobacco packages or tins when fans are in the ballpark. Individuals who violate the policy will be subject to discipline.

The agreement also expands tobacco education programs for players and calls for a program of education and public outreach on the dangers of smokeless tobacco.

The effort to promote "tobacco-free baseball" is supported by numerous national health and medical organizations, including the American Cancer Society, the American Medical Association, and the American Academy of Pediatrics, as well as many youth organizations, researchers, public health organizations and others. More information about the effort can be found online.

Further reading: "House Committee Convenes Hearing on Smokeless Tobacco"

President Obama Encourages Smokers to Quit

You must have flash installed and enabled to view the video.

November 17 marked the American Cancer Society's 36th annual Great American Smokeout, a day set aside every year to encourage smokers to make a plan to quit smoking for good and to remind nonsmokers not to start.

President Barack Obama congratulated those participating in the Great American Smokeout in a short video message.

Visit NCI's smoking home page to see the video and for information and resources on quitting smoking.