National Cancer Institute NCI Cancer Bulletin: A Trusted Source for Cancer Research News
November 30, 2010 • Volume 7 / Number 23

Special Issue: Global Collaboration

NCI’s International Cancer Research Resources

Basic and Clinical Research

AIDS Malignancy Consortium (AMC)
The Consortium is an NCI-supported clinical trials group founded in 1995 to support innovative trials for HIV-associated malignancies. The AMC is now composed of eight Domestic Core Sites, four International Core Sites, and a number of affiliated sites that involve patients in AMC trials. This effort is supported by NCI’s Office of HIV and AIDS Malignancy.

Rapid Access to Preventive Intervention Development (RAPID)
RAPID makes resources from NCI's Division of Cancer Prevention (DCP) available to academic and academically affiliated investigators, including investigators located in the United Kingdom, Japan, and India, for preclinical and early clinical drug development. 

The Chernobyl Tissue Bank (CTB)
CTB is a collaborative thyroid cancer specimen bank that was conceived in the aftermath of the global disaster and supported by NCI, European Commission, and the Sasakawa Memorial Health Foundation of Japan. The project partners include Russia and Ukraine. It represents the largest collection of annotated, high quality specimens for translational thyroid cancer research and for research assessing the effect of environmental exposure on the development of a particular cancer. The bank has been successful in acquiring thyroid cancer cases from areas that were affected by radiation from the 1986 Chernobyl accident and also includes post-Chernobyl tissue samples from participants born after December 1986 who were not exposed to radioiodine in fallout. All documented cases at the CTB are reviewed by an internationally acclaimed pathology panel. Thus, each specimen is annotated with pathology information and limited clinical data. Access to samples for research is available to investigators, pending review and approval by an external review panel and steering committee. 

Cohort Consortium
The Cohort Consortium is an international collaboration of intramural and extramural investigators responsible for 41 independently funded cohorts with over 4 million individuals across the globe.  NCI formed the partnership to address the need for large-scale collaborations to pool the large quantity of data and biospecimens necessary to conduct a wide range of cancer studies. NCI’s Division of Cancer Epidemiology & Genetics (DCEG) is a partner in this initiative.

The Breast and Prostate Cancer Consortium
Initiated by the NCI Cohort Consortium, investigators are searching for genetic determinants of breast and prostate cancer. Genetic variants in 50 genes related to steroid hormone and insulin-like growth factor activity are being assessed across an international series of cohorts to determine genetic predictors in these genes related to disease risk. 

Epidemiology and Genetics Research Program (EGRP)
EGRP is supporting a growing number of national and international research consortia focusing on intradisciplinary and translational research on common and rare cancers. Cohort, case-control, and familial studies are included.  This program is supported by NCI’s Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences.

International epidemiological Databases to Evaluate AIDS (IeDEA)
IeDEA establishes international regional centers for the collection and harmonization of data and establishes an international research consortium to address unique and evolving research questions in HIV/AIDS. NCI’s Office of HIV and AIDS Malignancy collaborates with other institutes to support this effort.

Post Genome-Wide Association Initiative
NCI has awarded five cooperative agreements for transdisciplinary research projects to exploit findings from existing genome-wide association studies (GWAS) and accelerate new discoveries. This program is supported by NCI’s Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences.

 Bioinformatics

Biometric Research Branch (BRB) - ArrayTools  
Software developed for microarray data analysis by the Biometric Research Branch (BRB), the statistical and biomathematical component of the Division of Cancer Treatment & Diagnosis (DCTD), has more than 9,000 registered users in more than 70 countries worldwide.

cancer Biomedical Informatics Grid (caBIG®)
caBIG® connects the cancer community, including an expanding group of international collaborators. To date, 16 countries are using or evaluating caBIG® tools and technology to facilitate collaborative biomedical research. caBIG® was developed by NCI’s Center for Bioinformatics.

 Building Capacity and Infrastructure

Centers for AIDS Research (CFAR) program
NCI, in cooperation with other parts of the National Institutes of Health, provides awards to establish and maintain several Centers for AIDS Research (CFARs) that conduct research on prevention, detection, and treatment of HIV, AIDS and AIDS-related malignancies in countries such as Brazil, Kenya, South Africa, Uganda, and India. CFAR is supported by NCI’s Office of HIV and AIDS Malignancy.

Ireland-Northern Ireland-NCI Cancer Consortium (AICC)
AICC brings together the governments of the United States and both parts of the island to reduce the incidence and mortality of cancer on the island of Ireland, where cancer rates are among the highest in the Western world. AICC is administered by NCI’s Office of International Affairs.   

Middle East Cancer Consortium (MECC)
MECC was established 14 years ago as a unique partnership between the United States and the Ministries of Health of Cyprus, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, the Palestinian Authority, and Turkey.  MECC is administered by NCI’s Office of International Affairs.   


OLACPD, an innovative partnership between NCI and the Fogarty International Center, was launched in recognition of the opportunity to support and enhance cancer research and care in Latin America.


The Network initially includes Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Mexico, and Uruguay and is responsible for developing a comprehensive understanding of the status of the disease burden, cancer research, and cancer care infrastructures, and for building collaborative relationships to support high-quality research and clinical studies.

Office of China Cancer Programs (OCCP)
OCCP promotes, supports, and informs the development of cooperative research projects between U.S. and Chinese scientists, research teams, and institutions to accelerate progress against cancer.

 Cancer Control and Prevention

American Russian Cancer Alliance (ARCA)
ARCA brings together scientists and clinicians in the Russian Federation and the United States, including NCI, to share perspectives and reach a greater understanding of the burden of cancer. The partnership focuses its attention on two major areas of cancer research: radioimmuno-imaging and therapy, and tobacco control.

Breast Health Global Initiative (BHGI)
To improve breast cancer outcomes in low- and middle-resource countries, the BHGI created comprehensive resource-sensitive, evidence-based clinical guidelines for breast health care and cancer control. NCI was a scientific partner. 

Chemopreventive Agent Development Research Group
The Chemopreventive Agent Development Research Group supports scientific and administrative oversight for preclinical chemoprevention agent development up to early phase I chemopreventive clinical research using physiological endpoints in healthy volunteers. Research focuses on identifying and developing agents with the potential to block, reverse, or delay early stages of cancer. This program is supported by NCI’s Division of Cancer Prevention (DCP).

InterSCOPE Consortium (no Web site)
This consortium examines the association between human papilloma virus (HPV) and risk of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC).  NCI investigators and colleagues from Australia, Brazil, China, France, Germany, Iran, and South Africa are examining whether HPV exposure increases the risk of ESCC.  This effort is supported by NCI’s Division of Cancer Epidemiology & Genetics (DCEG).

 Cancer Detection and Diagnosis

AIDS and Cancer Specimen Resource (ACSR)
The ACSR was established by NCI in 1994 to acquire, store, and equitably distribute tumor tissues, biological fluids, and associated clinical information from patients with HIV-associated malignancies to the scientific research community-at-large. NCI holds that prospective and longitudinal clinical samples collected across the timeline of the HIV/AIDS crisis are pivotal to the understanding of the epidemic and its impact on cancer incidence.  NCI’s Office of HIV and AIDS Malignancy (OHAM) supports this effort.

Early Detection Research Network (EDRN)
This initiative supports the creation of a national network to discover and coordinate the evaluation of biomarkers and reagents for the earlier detection of cancer and for the assessment of risk. This program is supported by NCI’s Division of Cancer Prevention (DCP)

The International Cancer Screening Network (ICSN)
ICSN is a voluntary consortium of countries that have active population-based cancer screening programs. These programs can be national or subnational in scope, and established or pilot-based. Administered by the Applied Research Program of NCI, the consortium was established in December 1988 as the International Breast Cancer Screening Database Project during an international workshop that involved representatives from 11 countries. The consortium has since grown to include 28 countries, and it holds biennial meetings. In the interim, the specific activities are moved forward through working groups.

International Leukemia/Lymphoma Molecular Profiling Project
This project is an international 10-institution collaboration to establish a molecular classification of human lymphoid malignancies and define molecular correlations of clinical parameters that are useful in prognosis and in the choice of optimal therapy. Both NCI’s Center for Cancer Research (CCR) and Division of Cancer Treatment & Diagnosis (DCTD) participate in this effort.

 Cancer Treatment

International Clinical Trials
The Cancer Therapy Evaluation Program (CTEP), part of NCI’s Division of Cancer Treatment & Diagnosis (DCTD), works with members of the NCI-sponsored Clinical Trials Cooperative Groups and international partners to identify barriers to international collaboration and how best to overcome them. CTEP also shares best practices and provides technical assistance, and has developed a long-range plan for integrating sites outside of the U.S. and Canada into the Clinical Trials Cooperative Groups. 

International Network for Cancer Treatment and Research (INCTR)
INCTR is a not-for-profit, non-governmental organization founded in 1998 by the UICC and the Institut Pasteur in Brussels. INCTR aims to reduce mortality and morbidity from cancer in developing countries through a coordinated program of education, training, and the conduct of long-term collaborative projects related to early detection, diagnosis, treatment, and palliative care. NCI helps the INCTR by providing financial, technical, and intellectual support.

Office of Cancer Complementary and Alternative Medicine (OCCAM)
OCCAM supports a variety of international partnerships and collaborations since many complementary and alternative medicine therapies originate as traditional medicines from other countries. 

 Funding

NCI provides funding to international investigators to collaborate with the United States and conduct cancer research. Contact the following division and offices to learn more:

Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences (DCCPS) Funding Opportunities

DCCPS International Research Grants Portfolio

Office of China Cancer Programs Funding Opportunities

Office of International Affairs Funding Opportunities

 Quality of Care

International Palliative Care Resource Center (IPCRC)
IPCRC makes palliative care resources accessible for health care professionals, builds palliative care capacity worldwide, and provides a dynamic and constantly expanding Web site. NCI’s Office of International Affairs provided funding for this collaborative effort.

 Training

Ireland-Northern Ireland-NCI Cancer Consortium Fellowships and Training
The Consortium recognizes the importance of building a workforce with the skills and knowledge necessary to practice cancer control and thus sponsors a number of fellowships and training opportunities for scientists, physicians, and other public health professionals from Ireland, Northern Ireland, and the United States. Interested individuals are encouraged to apply for fellowships or short-term training programs. 

NCI’s Summer Curriculum in Cancer Prevention
One- or four-week courses occur each summer in Maryland for U.S. and international health professionals. The one-week course focuses on molecular prevention, and the four-week course focuses on the principles and practice of cancer prevention and control, during which attendees from many countries present an international perspective on cancer prevention during International Day.  This program is coordinated through NCI’s Center for Cancer Training.

NIH Visiting Program
Each year, approximately 1,000 visiting scientists from more than 74 countries contribute to intramural research projects at NCI's Center for Cancer Research through the NIH Visiting Program.

Short-term Scientist Exchange Program (STSEP)
NCI’s Office of International Affairs (OIA) STSEP promotes collaborative research between established U.S. and foreign scientists from low-, middle-, and upper-middle-income countries by supporting, in part, exchange visits of cancer researchers from foreign laboratories.

United States-Japan Cooperative Cancer Research Program (USJCCRP)
Formal researcher exchange programs exist through the U.S.-Japan Cooperative Cancer Research program, administered by NCI’s Office of International Affairs.  The program supports scientific workshops and meetings to help advance cancer research and clinical care, creates networks among researchers and institutions, and promotes women and young researchers' active participation in cancer research.

Programs by Region

 Africa

Centers for AIDS Research (CFAR) Program
NCI, in cooperation with other parts of NIH, provides awards to establish and maintain several Centers for AIDS Research (CFARs) that conduct research on prevention, detection, and treatment of HIV, AIDS, and AIDS-related malignancies.  African CFAR collaborations include institutions in Botswana, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. CFAR is supported by NCI’s Office of HIV and AIDS Malignancy.

Ghana Prostate Cancer Study
This study assesses the burden of prostate cancer among West African men through a population-based prostate cancer screening survey and a clinical survey of diagnosed prostate tumors. This population shares genetic ancestry but has different lifestyle factors compared with African Americans, a group that has one of the world’s highest prostate cancer risks.

Strengthening Capacity for Research for HIV-Associated Malignancies in Africa
This initiative, supported by NCI’s Office of HIV and AIDS Malignancy and co-funded by the Fogarty International Center, provides funding for innovative training programs designed to train African research teams in preparation for collaboration on future research projects.

 Asia

Office of Cancer Complementary and Alternative Medicine (OCCAM)
OCCAM supports a variety of international partnerships and collaborations since many complementary and alternative medicine therapies originate as traditional medicines from other countries. 

Office of China Cancer Programs (OCCP)
OCCP promotes, supports, and informs the development of cooperative research projects between U.S. and Chinese scientists, research teams, and institutions to accelerate progress against cancer.

Shanghai Women’s Health Study
This cohort study is assessing the role of occupational and environmental factors in the development of cancer among women in Shanghai, China.  A number of analytic projects are ongoing, including the assessment of specific cancer risks in relation to anthropometric measurements, physical activity, and reproductive factors.

Studies among workers exposed to benzene in China
NCI and the China Center for Disease Control have partnered to understand which cancers are caused by benzene exposure, the effect of exposure amount on risk, and mechanisms of carcinogenicity.  Current work is examining the effect of genetics susceptibility to benzene poisoning and identifying biomarkers of exposure and cancer risk.

U.S.-India Activities on Prevention of Sexually Transmitted Infections and HIV/AIDS
The U.S.-India Agreement supports innovative and basic research on strategies to prevent HIV infection and transmission through the collaborative efforts of U.S. and Indian investigators and their institutions. The program seeks to advance a multifaceted approach to prevention that addresses the role of other co-infections, behavioral and social interactions, epidemiological factors, and co-morbidities associated with HIV transmission.

United States-Japan Cooperative Cancer Research Program (USJCCRP)
USJCCRP supports scientific workshops and meetings to help advance cancer research and clinical care, creates networks among researchers and institutions, and promotes women and young researchers' active participation in cancer research.

Canada

Childhood Cancer Survivor Study
This cohort of more than 14,000 five-year survivors of childhood cancer diagnosed at 25 U.S. and Canadian hospitals between 1970 and 1986 is being followed to assess the long-term risks of radiation and chemotherapy for second cancers of the breast, brain, thyroid gland, bone and soft tissue, skin, and salivary glands. 

 Europe

Ireland-Northern Ireland-NCI Cancer Consortium (AICC)
AICC brings together the governments of the United States and both parts of the island to reduce the incidence and mortality of cancer on the island of Ireland, which has among the highest rates of cancer in the Western world. 

 Latin America


OLACPD, an innovative partnership between NCI and the Fogarty International Center, was launched in recognition of the opportunity to support and enhance cancer research and care in Latin America.


The Network initially includes Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Mexico, and Uruguay and is responsible for developing a comprehensive understanding of the status of the disease burden, cancer research, and cancer care infrastructures, and building collaborative relationships to support high-quality research and clinical studies.

 Middle East

Middle East Cancer Consortium (MECC)
MECC was established 14 years ago and is a unique partnership between the United States and the Ministries of Health of Cyprus, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, the Palestinian Authority, and Turkey. MECC is administered by NCI’s Office of International Affairs