Cancer Cluster Morphology
R44 Phase II (End date 08/31/2011)
Four aims will be accomplished in this Phase II project:
- Build and test a complete software package based on results of the prototype.
- Conduct simulation studies to explore behavior and statistical power of CMA in controlled computer simulations for different spatial scales, temporal resolutions and at-risk populations.
- Conduct case studies to demonstrate the CMA approach using pancreatic cancer.
- Disseminate knowledge of the new approach by presentations at scientific meetings, by conducting a graduate level course at The University of Michigan, and by disseminating instructional materials to cancer control professionals and to organizations engaged in community-based participatory research.
These have not been modified from the original proposal.
Studies and Results
To date, in this SBIR Phase 2 study we have (1) Refined the cluster morphology analysis methodology and submitted it to a peer-reviewed journal. This paper has been accepted and will appear in the premier issue of the new Wiley journal “Spatial and Spatio- Temporal Epidemiology” in 2009. (2) Programmed the user interface, mapping and visualization methods as web-based software that will run in the user’s browser. This makes possible wide-distribution of the commercial product enabling a software as a services business model. (3) Programmed and tested spatial query and database abilities of SQL, and linked these to the browser-based software. This has validated the scalability of the spatial proximity computations to datasets numbering tens of thousands of individual cases. (4) The graduate level course NRE543 consisting of a weekly 2 hour lecture and 2 hour laboratory has been accepted by the University of Michigan and will be offered this coming fall semester.
We are on schedule for completing the software programming and Quality Assurance tasks of this Phase 2 project. Once programming is completed we will test the Cluster Morphology Analysis software in simulation analyses, and then apply these techniques in a study of pancreatic cancer in southeastern Michigan.
The balance of the current performance period (Year 1 of the Phase 2 project) will be spent on software engineering, quality assurance and testing, completing research Aim 1; and on preparation of the course materials, Research Aim 4. Once Aim 1 is completed we will undertake simulation studies that will further evaluate the ability of Cluster Morphology Analysis to accurately detect cancer clusters of any given shape (Research Aim 2). We then will undertake the planned analysis of pancreatic cancer in southeastern Michigan in order to geographically localize the excess of cancer incidence observed in the Detroit Metropolitan Area (Research Aim 3). The localization of excess pancreatic cancer risk to specific census units will allow us to identify local sub-populations whose socio-economic status and geographic proximity to plausible sources of environmental pollutants are expected to give rise to hypotheses regarding the etiology of pancreatic cancers.