NCI staff are involved in a wide range of outreach and public information efforts, some of which are tailored specifically to the needs of ethnic minority communities.
OCICE supports ICIC, which maintains the NCI web site CancerNet, as well as two comprehensive cancer databases, PD. and CANCERLIT. CancerNet (located at http://cancernet.nci.nih.gov) provides information to the general public and physicians and features a special section entitled "Information for Racial/Ethnic Groups." ICIC staff are working with advocacy groups on an initiative to provide layperson-oriented information about cancer clinical trials on CancerNet. PDQ is a database that describes the latest advances in cancer treatment, care, screening, and prevention and features a technical version for health professionals and a nontechnical version for patients and the general public. Users can obtain information on clinical trials in directories of more than 23,000 physicians and more than 11,000 organizations active in cancer care. PDQ is available in both English and Spanish. CANCERLIT is a bibliographic database that contains citations from the cancer literature published from 1963 to the present and contains more than 1.2 million citations.
ICIC has also sought to provide tailored outreach to the Hispanic community by using market research conducted by the Office of Cancer Communications (OCC). Direct mail communication with 37,000 Hispanic-serving health professionals, including information about NCI resources and how to access them, a Spanish-language brochure for patients, public service announcements in major Hispanic markets, and outreach to the National Council of Catholic Bishops are among the strategies used to target this population. ICIC is also sponsoring a pilot project in seven Maryland public libraries to increase the awareness and use of CancerNet in these settings, especially among individuals who are less likely to have access to computer resources at home or work.
The Cancer Information Service Branch oversees CIS, a national information and education network and toll-free telephone service that provides information to individuals and communities about recent developments in cancer research, prevention, and treatment. The CIS toll-free telephone service operates in both English and Spanish. To improve outreach to minority communities, CIS has engaged in collaborations with minority-based and minority-serving organizations.