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Cancer Cancer

Dr. Paulo Pinheiro’s New JNCI Editorial Discusses Priorities for Future Cancer Surveillance Research

Paulo Pinheiro, Ph.D., Research Associate Professor of Epidemiology at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine’s Department of Public Health Sciences, has been invited to report on the latest cancer statistics in the U.S. in the prestigious Journal of the National Cancer Institute (JNCI). Dr. Pinheiro has over 15 years of experience in population-based cancer epidemiology and is also a member of the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Dr. Paulo Pinheiro

Paulo Pinheiro, MD,
M.Sc., Ph.D.

The editorial titled — “Cancer Surveillance Opportunities to Meet Prevention and Control Challenges” — has been published in the July edition of the high-impact journal. Utilizing various qualitative and quantitative sources on cancer, Dr. Pinheiro provides a comprehensive overview of the opportunities and challenges related to future cancer prevention and control research. Data from the Annual Report to the Nation on the Status of Cancer and various cancer surveillance programs is utilized to provide the basis for the manuscript.

Overall, cancer incidence and cancer mortality in the United States continue to decrease. Nonetheless, there are increasing trends for various types of cancer that are of particular concern. The priority areas of research include childhood cancers, colorectal cancer, endometrial, oral and brain cancers, liver cancer, and lung cancer.

“I am honored to have been invited to submit an editorial to the prestigious Journal of the National Cancer Institute and share important research findings on the latest developments related to cancer,” Dr. Pinheiro said.

“We have a very dynamic and rich cancer registry here in Florida,” Dr. Pinheiro added. “Florida is one of the largest and most diverse states in the nation, with a large proportion of elderly populations. As such patterns of cancer mortality and survival in Florida have an impact nationwide. Therefore, the Florida Cancer Data System provides a unique and valuable insight into what the priorities are for the U.S. population in terms of cancer incidence and trends.”

The Annual Report to the Nation on the Status of Cancer provides a unique opportunity to analyze cancer patterns and guide the development of future prevention and treatment efforts. As highlighted in the Report, Dr. Pinheiro explains that there is a need for better data to provide greater accuracy on cancer trends, particularly for endometrial, liver, oral and brain cancers. New, emerging areas of cancer, such as lung cancer among never smokers and the influence of electronic nicotine delivery systems, will also require further scientific inquiry.

Cancer Surveillance Research

Dr. Paulo Pinheiro has advanced the understanding of cancer incidence and outcomes in Hispanic/Latino and Black/African-descent populations worldwide. In 2019, he pioneered the monitoring of cancer incidence in Hispanic subgroups in the U.S. based on individual-level data from Florida. Dr. Pinheiro has also worked on cancer surveillance methodology and is able to detect indicators that can be improved based on his work.

For instance, a recent study co-authored by Dr. Pinheiro linked cancer registry data with hospital discharge data to determine hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) incidence rates according to distinct HCC cause for the first time. Results of the study show that HBV-HCC incidence is highest among Asians, HCV-HCC among Blacks, Alcohol-related HCC among Hispanic males and Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease-HCC among Hispanics.

Because of his unique expertise in the Epidemiology of Cancer in Hispanic populations, Dr. Pinheiro has recently been invited to present his research in the National Cancer Institute (NCI), “Cancer Epidemiology in Hispanic Populations Workshop”, in the Annual Meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), and in the Cancer Epidemiology Seminar Series of the University of Southern California. Moreover, he collaborated with the American Cancer Society in their Cancer in Latinos Statistics 2021 report just released in the high impact CA Cancer Journal for Clinicians.

Recommendations for Future Cancer Prevention and Control

Existing cancer surveillance programs are particularly promising due to the universal, population-based nature of their data. Cancer surveillance programs, including the Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results program, are well-positioned to address any major knowledge gaps, despite different challenges related to the data collection.

Recommendations for future cancer prevention and control include the integration of additional linkages of data with existing cancer surveillance data to provide a greater understanding of trends. Lastly, the consideration of additional factors to improve diagnosis and treatment is also needed, with a particular emphasis on cancers with complex increasing trends.

Written by Veronica Bustabad
Published on October 26, 2021