Geospatial approaches to cancer control and population sciences at the United States cancer centers.

Author(s): Korycinski RW,  Tennant BL,  Cawley MA,  Bloodgood B,  Oh AY,  Berrigan D

Journal: Cancer Causes Control

Date: 2018 Mar

Major Program(s) or Research Group(s): BRG

PubMed ID: 29423759

PMC ID: PMC5893134

Abstract: PURPOSE: Geospatial, contextual, and multilevel research is integral to cancer prevention and control. NCI-designated Cancer Centers are at the forefront of cancer research; therefore, this paper sought to review the geospatial, contextual, and multilevel research at these cancer centers. METHODS: Investigators used PubMed and Web of Science to compile geospatial publications from 1971 to February 2016 with cancer center-affiliated authors. Relevant abstracts were pulled and classified by six geospatial approaches, eight geospatial scales, and eight cancer sites. RESULTS: The searches identified 802 geospatial, contextual, and multilevel publications with authors affiliated at 60 of the 68 NCI-designated Cancer Centers. Over 90% were published after 2000. Five cancer centers accounted for approximately 50% of total publications, and 30 cancer centers accounted for over 85% of total publications. Publications covered all geospatial approaches and scales to varying degrees, and 90% dealt with cancer. CONCLUSIONS: The NCI-designated Cancer Center network is increasingly pursuing geospatial, contextual, and multilevel cancer research, although many cancer centers still conduct limited to no research in this area. Expanding geospatial efforts to research programs across all cancer centers will further enrich cancer prevention and control. Similar reviews may benefit other domestic and international cancer research institutions.