A Longitudinal Analysis Of Extramural Cancer Research Projects In LMICs Funded By The US National Cancer Institute (NCI)

Shannon SILKENSEN, US NIH National Cancer Institute, United States

1 National Cancer Institute, Center for Global Health, Rockville, MD,
2 Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA, USA

The NCI, along with other NIH Institutes and Centers, supports a large number of cancer research projects with international components.  This analysis describes NCI-funded research projects conducted in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) between NIH Fiscal Years (FY) 2008–2014. The purpose of this analysis is to identify future opportunities for prevention, early detection, and treatment research projects in LMICs that are aligned with the global occurrence and etiology of cancers.
This analysis included NCI-supported extramural grants active between FY2008–FY2014. Each year a grant is active is counted as one grant-year. The grant data come from two internal NIH databases—IMPAC II and FACTS.  Global cancer research grants were stratified by (1) WHO Region; (2) World Bank Lending Group; (3) Common Scientific Outline; and (4) anatomic tumor site. Organization names were standardized using GRID.
Between FY2008–FY2014, the NCI supported over 45,000 cancer research grant-years; approximately 8.8% (3,967) included foreign components and 1.5% (670) involved research in LMICs. The 670 active grants in LMICs yielded 1,230 research projects; the majority were within in the WHO Africa Region, 30.5%, (375) and the WHO Western Pacific Region, 28.8% (354). Analysis of the scientific content of these projects indicates that 11.4% focused on prevention research, 14.7% focused on early detection, and 21.3% focused on cancer treatment. The greatest number of LMIC research projects examine breast cancer, 9.6%, and lung cancer, 9.6%.
Understanding the NCI’s research portfolio in LMICs is vital for effective planning of research programs.  Integrating this portfolio analysis with data on global cancer occurrence, etiology, risk factor prevalence, infection rates, and ecological exposures may guide the international research community as they develop programs to reduce the global burden of cancer.
Funding source:
This work has been generously supported by the NCI’s Center for Global Health.