Cancer survivorship research includes the study of physical, psychosocial, and economic consequences of cancer diagnosis and treatment among pediatric and adult cancer survivors. Historically, the majority of cancer survivorship studies were from the United States, but survivorship issues are increasingly being addressed in other developed countries. Cross-cultural studies remain, however, scarce. The degree to which knowledge attained may or may not be transferred across cultures, countries, or regions is not known. Some important challenges for comparative research are therefore discussed in a cross-cultural perspective. Several substantive and methodological challenges that complicate the execution of cross-cultural cancer survivorship research are presented with examples and discussed to facilitate comparative research efforts in the establishment of new survivorship cohorts and in the planning and implementation of survivorship studies. Comparative research is one key to understanding the nature of cancer survivorship, distinguishing modifiable from nonmodifiable factors at individual, hospital, societal, and system levels and may thus guide appropriate interventions. Lastly, suggested future courses of action within the field of comparative cancer survivorship research are provided.
The increasing burden of chronic diseases presents not only challenges to the knowledge and expertise of the professional medical community, but also highlights the need to improve the quality and relevance of clinical research in this domain. Many patients now turn to complementary and integrative medicine (CIM) to treat their chronic illnesses; however, there is very little evidence to guide their decision-making in usual care. The following research recommendations were derived from a CIM Stakeholder Symposium on Comparative Effectiveness Research (CER): (1) CER studies should be made a priority in this field; (2) stakeholders should be engaged at every stage of the research; (3) CER study designs should highlight effectiveness over efficacy; (4) research questions should be well defined to enable the selection of an appropriate CER study design; (5) the CIM community should cultivate widely shared understandings, discourse, tools, and technologies to support the use and validity of CER methods; (6) Effectiveness Guidance Documents on methodological standards should be developed to shape future CER studies. CER is an emerging field and its development and impact must be reflected in future research strategies within CIM. This stakeholder symposium was a first step in providing systematic guidance for future CER in this field.
Colorectal cancer is a leading cause of cancer mortality in both developed and developing countries. Transforming basic research results into clinical practice is one of the key tasks of translational research, which will greatly improve the diagnosis and treatments of colorectal cancer. In this paper, a translational research platform for colorectal cancer, named crcTRP, is introduced. crcTRP serves the colorectal cancer translational research by providing various types of biomedical information related with colorectal cancer to the community. The information, including clinical data, epidemiology data, individual omics data, and public omics data, was collected through a multisource biomedical information collection solution and then integrated in a clinic-omics database, which was constructed with EAV-ER model for flexibility and efficiency. A preliminary exploration of conducting translational research on crcTRP was implemented and worked out a set of clinic-genomic relations, linking clinical data with genomic data. These relations have also been applied to crcTRP to make it more conductive for cancer translational research.