Optimizing Implementation in Cancer Control (OPTICC): protocol for an implementation science center

Implement Sci Commun. 2021 Apr 23;2(1):44. doi: 10.1186/s43058-021-00117-w.


Background: Evidence-based interventions (EBIs) could reduce cervical cancer deaths by 90%, colorectal cancer deaths by 70%, and lung cancer deaths by 95% if widely and effectively implemented in the USA. Yet, EBI implementation, when it occurs, is often suboptimal. This manuscript outlines the protocol for Optimizing Implementation in Cancer Control (OPTICC), a new implementation science center funded as part of the National Cancer Institute Implementation Science Consortium. OPTICC is designed to address three aims. Aim 1 is to develop a research program that supports developing, testing, and refining of innovative, efficient methods for optimizing EBI implementation in cancer control. Aim 2 is to support a diverse implementation laboratory of clinical and community partners to conduct rapid, implementation studies anywhere along the cancer care continuum for a wide range of cancers. Aim 3 is to build implementation science capacity in cancer control by training new investigators, engaging established investigators in cancer-focused implementation science, and contributing to the Implementation Science Consortium in Cancer.

Methods: Three cores serve as OPTICC's foundation. The Administrative Core plans coordinates and evaluates the Center's activities and leads its capacity-building efforts. The Implementation Laboratory Core (I-Lab) coordinates a network of diverse clinical and community sites, wherein studies are conducted to optimize EBI implementation, implement cancer control EBIs, and shape the Center's agenda. The Research Program Core conducts innovative implementation studies, measurement and methods studies, and pilot studies that advance the Center's theme. A three-stage approach to optimizing EBI implementation is taken-(I) identify and prioritize determinants, (II) match strategies, and (III) optimize strategies-that is informed by a transdisciplinary team of experts leveraging multiphase optimization strategies and criteria, user-centered design, and agile science.

Discussion: OPTICC will develop, test, and refine efficient and economical methods for optimizing EBI implementation by building implementation science capacity in cancer researchers through applications with our I-Lab partners. Once refined, OPTICC will disseminate its methods as toolkits accompanied by massive open online courses, and an interactive website, the latter of which seeks to simultaneously accumulate knowledge across OPTICC studies.

Keywords: Agile science; Cancer control; Cancer prevention; Cancer screening; Determinants; Implementation science; Mechanisms; Optimization; Strategies.