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Name of Collaboratory :


Cancer Intervention and Surveillance Modeling Network (CISNET)


URL :  

Collaboratory Status :

Operational   Start Date : 2000 End Date : Info Last Updated : Wed, Dec 8 2010 3:01pm PST

Primary Collaboratory Function :

  Distributed Research Center  

Secondary Collaboratory Functions :

  Virtual Community of Practice  

Domain(s) :

  NON-S&E >Health and Medical Sciences >Health Sciences, Other  

Brief Description of the Collaboratory :


The Cancer Intervention and Surveillance Modeling Network (CISNET) is a consortium of NCI-sponsored investigators that includes modeling to improve understanding of the impact of cancer control interventions (e.g., prevention, screening, and treatment) on population trends in incidence and mortality. These models can be used to project future trends and aid in the development of optimal cancer control strategies. Established in 2000 by the National Cancer Institute (NCI), CISNET's projects comprise five cancer sites: breast, colorectal, esophagus, lung, and prostate.

One strength of having a consortium of modelers is the ability to employ a comparative modeling approach. While each modeler has areas of individual focus, whenever possible, a common "base" question is developed that allows for comparison across models. In these common "base" case collaborations, a set of common population inputs is used across all models (e.g., dissemination patterns of screening and treatment, mortality from non-cancer causes), and a common set of intermediate and final outputs is developed to help understand differences and similarities across models.

CISNET is committed to bringing the most sophisticated evidence-based planning tools to the areas of population health and public policy. CISNET's modeling efforts:

translate evidence from randomized trials and epidemiological studies to the population setting by extrapolating evidence beyond study protocols to the general population while accounting for actual usage in less controlled settings.
model real and hypothetical scenarios to allow for the identification of key factors influencing outcomes and efficient cancer control strategies.
inform clinical practice and recommended guidelines by synthesizing existing, albeit often incomplete, information to model gaps in available knowledge.
provide a suite of models that are able to meet the challenges of the increasing pace of scientific discovery and are ready to address emerging questions while they are being debated in the policy forum.

The CISNET administrative structure includes the five cancer site working groups, the information management center, the steering committee, and the computer programmers’ support group. Most projects are completed within cancer site-specific working groups. The steering committee sets overall consortium policies and recommendations. The information management center runs the consortium members’ Web site, and developed and maintains the standardized model documentation. The computer programmers’ support group provides a forum for discussion and collaboration for programmers across the consortium.


Access to Instruments :


Access to Information Resources :

  All model profiles, results, and publications are freely accessible on their Website.  

Access to People as Resources :

  CISNET initiated a series of webinars to encourage discussion with colleagues in the fields of advocacy, public policy, legislative affairs, cancer control planning, and clinical science on the potential of CISNET's decision support tools to guide evidence-based policies/guidelines and cancer control planning. To better target the audiences, webinars have been held on issues surrounding specific cancer sites, and each one to date has had more than 100 call-in participants.  

Funding Agency or Sponsor :

United States Department of Health and Human Services
National Institutes of Health (NIH)
National Cancer Institute (NCI)

Notes on Funding Agencies/Sponsors:
CISNET is funded through an NCI cooperative agreement (U01) mechanism, which ensures substantive NCI involvement in attaining research goals and catalyzing collaborations both between consortium members and with outside groups seeking collaborations. There are three phases of funding: CISNET I (2000-2005), CISNET II (2005-2010) and CISNET III (2010-2015).

Organizations with Funded Participants:
Organization name:
Approx # of participants:
Description of organization's role(s):
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Breast Cancer Site Working Group
Erasmus Medical Center
Breast Cancer Site Working Group; Colorectal Cancer Site Working Group; Lung Cancer Site Working Group; Prostate Cancer Site Working Group
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
Esophageal Cancer Site Working Group; Lung Cancer Site Working Group; Prostate Cancer Site Working Group
Georgetown University
   Georgetown University Medical Center (GUMC)
Breast Cancer Site Working Group
Colorectal Cancer Site Working Group
Massachusetts General Hospital
Esophageal Cancer Site Working Group; Lung Cancer Site Working Group
Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
Colorectal Cancer Site Working Group
Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation (PIRE)
Lung Cancer Site Working Group
University of Minnesota
   School of Public Health (University of Minnesota)
Colorectal Cancer Site Working Group
Stanford University
Breast Cancer Site Working Group; Lung Cancer Site Working Group
University of Michigan
Prostate Cancer Site Working Group
University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center
Breast Cancer Site Working Group
University of Washington
Esophageal Cancer Site Working Group
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Breast Cancer Site Working Group
Yale University
   Yale School of Public Health
Lung Cancer Site Working Group
Organizations Otherwise Associated:
Organization name:
Approx # of participants:
Description of organization's role(s):
American Cancer Society (ACS)
Collaborating Organization: CISNET is exploring a collaboration with researchers at ACS to evaluate potential benefits and harms associated with various strategies for the early detection and associated treatment of prostate cancer.
American College of Radiology (ACS)
   American College of Radiology Imaging Network (ACRIN)
Collaborating Organization: The National CT Colonography Trial (ACRIN 6664) was conducted to clinically validate widespread use of CT colonography in an asymptomatic screening population for the detection of colorectal neoplasia. The clinical performance of the CT colonography examination was prospectively compared in a blinded fashion to colonoscopy. CISNET is collaborating with ACRIN to study the cost-effectiveness of CTC based on these trial results.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Collaborating Organization: The CDCs Division of Cancer Prevention and Control is working with CISNET colorectal cancer investigators to project potential shifts in costs to Medicare, Medicaid, and private payers for programs that would increase colorectal cancer screening rates among the U.S. population ages 50 to 64. This group will also assesses the colonoscopy capacity required to initiate a colorectal cancer screening program in lower-income U.S. populations. Discussions are underway for another project with the CISNET breast cancer group to model the potential costs and benefits of utilizing digital mammography as part of the National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program.
United States Department of Health and Human Services
   Healthy People
Collaborating Organization: CISNET provided support for the development of the Healthy People 2010 mid-course review. Analyses were conducted in breast, lung, and colorectal cancers, linking
   Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)
Collaborating Organization: CISNET microsimulation models are being used for technology assessments as part of National Coverage Determinations to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of immunochemical fecal occult blood tests, DNA stool testing, and CT colonography in colorectal cancer screening compared to screening methods currently covered.
District of Columbia Department of Health
Collaborating Organization: In an effort to reduce racial disparities associated with breast cancer in the District of Columbia, a CISNET model is being utilized to evaluate local breast cancer surveillance data to determine the efficacy of proposed interventions. In collaboration with local policy planners and public health officials, this information will aid in the development of public health priorities to improve breast cancer outcomes.
Institute for Clinical and Economic Review (ICER)
Collaborating Organization: ICER produces rigorous independent assessments of new medical interventions to support value-based insurance benefit designs, coverage and reimbursement policy, and patient-clinician decision support tools. As part of an assessment of CT colonography for primary colorectal cancer screening, ICER commissioned a cost-effectiveness analysis using one of the colorectal cancer CISNET models.
State of Kentucky
Collaborating Organization: The Pacific Institute of Research and Evaluation CISNET model (SimSmoke) was developed to monitor changes in smoking behavior and to evaluate the efficacy of tobacco-control policies with the ultimate goal of reducing morbidity and mortality associated with smoking. Developers of the SimSmoke model worked closely with Kentucky in-state partners, and disseminated the model as a tool to aid in the mitigation of smoking through improved public policies and increased tobacco control legislation.
U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF)
Collaborating Organization: CISNET models serve as a resource for USPSTF evidence review panels as they revise screening recommendations for breast and colorectal cancers.

Notes on Participants/Organizations:
Integrative Cancer Biology Program; Prostate, Lung, Colorectal, and Ovarian Cancer Screening Trial; and Cancer Quality of Care Measures Project (other collaboratories) are also collaborating organizations.


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