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Cancer and Implementation Science

Cancer accounts for approximately 1 of every 4 deaths in the United States and is the leading cause of death in Massachusetts. Almost 1.6 million new cases of cancer were diagnosed in 2013. Certain groups, such as those of lower socioeconomic position consistently suffer disproportionately from cancer. 

A vast scientific literature has demonstrated effective ways to prevent cancer, detect cancer at early stages to improve prognosis, improve the cancer treatment experience, and improve health and quality of life during cancer survivorship. However, these effective treatments and interventions are often not implemented and used consistently in practice. 

Implementation science is an emerging discipline in the health sciences that addresses the need to scientifically study how best to incorporate evidence-based practice into routine clinical and public health practice.  Implementation science requires a unique and diverse set of methodologies and skill sets. It also involves interdisciplinary team science approaches in collaboration with practice settings and organizations aiming to adopt evidence-based approaches. A critical component for the future of implementation science is a well-trained scientific workforce. PRACCTIS is one of the first full-time training programs intended to address this need.

The goal of PRACCTIS is to train future leaders in cancer-related implementation science as part of the ongoing effort to reduce the burden of cancer.