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Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2013 Feb;22(2):181-8. doi: 10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-12-1262. Epub 2013 Jan 15.

"Drivers" of translational cancer epidemiology in the 21st century: needs and opportunities.

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Epidemiology and Genomics Research Program, Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences, National Cancer Institute, NIH, Bethesda, MD, USA.


Cancer epidemiology is at the cusp of a paradigm shift--propelled by an urgent need to accelerate the pace of translating scientific discoveries into health care and population health benefits. As part of a strategic planning process for cancer epidemiologic research, the Epidemiology and Genomics Research Program (EGRP) at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) is leading a "longitudinal" meeting with members of the research community to engage in an on-going dialogue to help shape and invigorate the field. Here, we review a translational framework influenced by "drivers" that we believe have begun guiding cancer epidemiology toward translation in the past few years and are most likely to drive the field further in the next decade. The drivers include: (i) collaboration and team science, (ii) technology, (iii) multilevel analyses and interventions, and (iv) knowledge integration from basic, clinical, and population sciences. Using the global prevention of cervical cancer as an example of a public health endeavor to anchor the conversation, we discuss how these drivers can guide epidemiology from discovery to population health impact, along the translational research continuum.

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