The Cancer Prevention and Control Research Network (CPCRN) is a thematic network dedicated to accelerating the adoption of evidence-based cancer prevention and control practices in communities by advancing dissemination and implementation science. Funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and National Cancer Institute, CPCRN has operated at two levels: Each participating network center conducts research projects with primarily local partners as well as multicenter collaborative research projects with state and national partners. Through multicenter collaboration, thematic networks leverage the expertise, resources, and partnerships of participating centers to conduct research projects collectively that might not be feasible individually. Although multicenter collaboration is often advocated, it is challenging to promote and assess. Using bibliometric network analysis and other graphical methods, this paper describes CPCRN's multicenter publication progression from 2004 to 2014. Searching PubMed, Scopus, and Web of Science in 2014 identified 249 peer-reviewed CPCRN publications involving two or more centers out of 6,534 total. The research and public health impact of these multicenter collaborative projects initiated by CPCRN during that 10-year period were then examined. CPCRN established numerous workgroups around topics such as: 2-1-1, training and technical assistance, colorectal cancer control, federally qualified health centers, cancer survivorship, and human papillomavirus. This paper discusses the challenges that arise in promoting multicenter collaboration and the strategies that CPCRN uses to address those challenges. The lessons learned should broadly interest those seeking to promote multisite collaboration to address public health problems, such as cancer prevention and control.
Copyright © 2016 American Journal of Preventive Medicine. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.