CANCER, REPRODUCTIVE, AND CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASES
Outputs: Research to Practice
Historically, NIOSH has been a leader in applying research into workplace solutions that reduce injury and illness. Research to Practice is a NIOSH initiative focused on the transfer and translation of research findings, technologies, and information into highly effective prevention practices and products, which are adopted in the workplace.
The goal of research to practice is to increase workplace use of effective NIOSH and NIOSH-funded research findings. NIOSH continues to work with our partners to focus research on ways to develop effective products, translate research findings into practice, target dissemination efforts, and evaluate and demonstrate the effectiveness of these efforts in improving worker safety and health.
NIOSH Worker Notification Program
A longstanding research to practice effort of the Cancer, Reproductive, and Cardiovascular Research Program is the NIOSH Worker Notification Program. Through this program, NIOSH notifies workers and other stakeholders about the findings of research studies.
A sampling of individual notifications involving cancer that have taken place since 1996 include the following:
- Antimony Smelters (Antimony Exposure): Notification to more than 1000 antimony smelter workers in 1997.
- Asbestos Textile, Friction, and Packing Plant Workers (Asbestos): Notification to more than 2,700 asbestos workers in 1998.
- Synthetic Dye Manufacturers (beta-naphthylamine (BNA)): Notification to synthetic dye manufacturing workers in 2000.
- Navy Cable Manufacturers (Chlorinated Naphthalenes Exposure): Notification to more than 9,000 Navy cable manufacturing workers in 1996.
- Dry Cleaners (Organic Solvents): Notification to more than 1,000 antimony smelter workers in 1997.
- Industrial Sand Workers (Silica Exposure): Notification to more than 1,000 antimony smelter workers in 1997.
- Shoe Manufacturers (Toluene): Notification to 7,800 shoe workers in 1996.
- Uranium Miners (Uranium): Notification to 4,000 uranium miners 2000.
Transfer of Technology to the Private Sector
Exposure of workers to components of methamphetamine production during law enforcement, first response, and decontamination activities at illicit drug laboratories is a growing problem. Among the health problems that could result from such exposure are cardiovascular problems. NIOSH researchers have created new technology for detecting methamphetamines, which has been adapted into a field portable kit for use in assessing these exposures. The technology has been licensed to SKC, Inc., which is marketing the kit;1 sales of the kit have been strong to industrial hygiene professionals involved in this type of work.2
Individual Research to Practice Plans
Individual CRC projects have research to practice plans included in their planning documents. One example is listed here:
Genetic Susceptibility to Occupationally Induced Cancer
NIOSH scientists are using high resolution CGH array to examine the entire genome to identify target genes involved in stage specific genetic changes in melanoma and lung cancer. Health Effects Laboratory Division researchers are using the data to identify genetic changes in melanoma and adenocarcinoma, which can be used as biomarkers or targets of intervention. By exploiting a comparative approach and running parallel experiments utilizing mouse and human samples, we have increased the likelihood of finding conserved genetic changes in adenocarcinoma, which can be used as targets for drug development and biomarkers.
The results of these studies will be shared with Spectral Genomics Incorporated, who will use the information to validate the genomic chip. Clinics and university-based medical centers will potentially use the chips to stage and diagnose lung adenocarcinoma and melanoma. The data could be further used to tailor treatment of melanoma and lung adenocarcinoma. Drug companies are currently using information about specific gene alterations to identify targets for drug development. This approach has saved drug companies as much as $425 million and 1.6 years of development. The genomic chip technology makes it possible to identify multiple genetic alterations in one experiment. The information will be transmitted by publications in scientific journals, presentations at conferences, and in discussion with Spectral Genomics. Spectral Genomics coauthors publications that involve genomic chip technology. One patent has been submitted from this research thus far: Patent submission, Syntenic genomic chip 2004-025124. A CRADA (NI0-04-001) between NIOSH and Spectral Genomics has been established to facilitate interactions between industry and the government.
- Esswein E. 2006. Personal communication between Eric Esswein and representatives of SKC, Inc.
- National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)
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