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Vol. LIX, No. 23
November 16, 2007

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NCI Division Marks 10th Anniversary

The National Cancer Institute is celebrating the research, activities and partnerships of its Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences (DCCPS) upon the 10-year anniversary of its founding.

“Since its creation in 1997, DCCPS has led NCI’s research to understand the causes and distribution of cancer in populations, to support the development and delivery of effective interventions and to monitor and explain cancer trends in all segments of the population,” said NCI director Dr. John Niederhuber. “Through the highest-quality genetic, epidemiological, behavioral, social, applied and surveillance cancer studies, DCCPS generates new knowledge and helps ensure that the products of cancer control research are effectively applied in all segments of the population.”

DCCPS became a new division at NCI based on recommendations by a special cancer control review group that defined cancer control science as the “conduct of basic and applied research in the behavioral, social and population sciences to create or enhance interventions that, independently or in combination with biomedical approaches, reduce cancer risk, incidence, morbidity and mortality and improve quality of life.”

Dr. Robert Croyle, who currently directs DCCPS, noted the extramural division’s unique role in reducing the burden of cancer in America. “DCCPS has the lead responsibility at NCI for supporting research in surveillance, epidemiology, health services, behavioral science and cancer survivorship,” he explained. “The division also plays a central role within the federal government as a source of expertise and evidence on issues such as the quality of cancer care, the economic burden of cancer, geographic information systems, statistical methods, communication science, tobacco control and the translation of research into practice.”

Dr. Robert T. Croyle, current DCCPS director
Dr. Barbara Rimer, first DCCPS director
Top: Dr. Robert T. Croyle, current DCCPS director Bottom: Dr. Barbara Rimer, first DCCPS director

During the past decade, DCCPS has funded a large and expanding portfolio of grants and contracts. It currently includes over 900 grants valued at almost $400 million. Highlights include:

  • Expansion of the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Program, the authoritative source of information on cancer incidence and survival in the United States. Overall, SEER coverage increased from 14 percent to 26 percent of the U.S. population.
  • Launch of the Cancer Care Outcomes Research and Surveillance Consortium in fiscal year 2001 to improve the methods and empirical base for quality of care assessment.
  • Funding the Long-Term Cancer Survivors Research Initiative focused on questions related to the physiological and psychosocial experiences of cancer survivors 5 or more years post-diagnosis, and interventions to promote positive outcomes.
  • Supporting approximately 30 consortia through the division’s Epidemiology and Genetics Research Program. These consortia—which focus on numerous types of cancer and include cohort, case-control and familial studies—conduct the types of large-scale epidemiologic studies needed to address complex questions about the etiology of cancer.

DCCPS relies not only on the expertise of its own scientific staff, but also works closely with other NIH institutes, HHS agencies and nongovernmental organizations. For example, DCCPS, NIDA, NIAAA and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation jointly fund the Transdisciplinary Tobacco Use Research Centers.

“We look forward to making even greater strides in the coming decade,” said Croyle. “To accomplish this, we will continue to evaluate what has been learned, identify new priorities and strategies and effectively apply new technologies and research discoveries to reduce the cancer burden.” NIH Record Icon

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