Friday, June 1, 2007

Funding opportunity in precancer research

The U.S. National Cancer Institute (NCI) has put out an innovative Request for Applications (RFA) for precancer research. As you know, I support the idea that attacking precancers is the best way to eliminate human cancer. There's every reason to think that precancers can be treated successfully with low-toxicity agents that interfere with the pathways of precancer growth and progression or that enhance the pathways of precancer death. Most of the research in this field will be data-intensive. Those who know how to specify their data will probably welcome the data sharing provisions in the RFA.

The RFA, focused on breast precancers, just came out, and can be viewed at:

Release/Posted Date: May 30, 2007
Opening Date: September 14, 2007
Letters of Intent Receipt Date: October 14, 2007

The RFA uses an R01 funding mechanism (that's good).

The RFA cites our November 2004 conference on precancers that was co-sponsored by George Washington University.

From the RFA: "The NCI as well as experts in the extramural scientific community recommend further research related to the biology of the pre-malignant state in human breast cancer. An expert panel convened at the November 2004 NCI Workshop on Pre-Cancers identified delineation of the biological, genetic, and functional characteristics of pre-cancers as major scientific needs (Cancer Detect Prev. 2006;30(5):387-94). The distinctive early lesions that occur have characteristic properties that should permit them to be detected, diagnosed, and prevented from progressing to invasive cancer. The Workshop participants noted a number of impediments to conducting research on pre-cancers, including:

* insufficient understanding of normal and pre-cancer biology;
* limited access to appropriate specimens;
* a highly subjective, histology-based classification scheme; and
* the lack of strategic partnerships among research communities."

-Jules Berman tags: cancer research, data sharing, funding, nci, precancer, science
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