EGRP News Flash - December 20, 2010

Two Funding Opportunities Announced for Mitochondria Research in Cancer Epidemiology, Detection, Diagnosis, and Prognosis

The National Cancer Institute (NCI) is reissuing two Program Announcements (PAs) to encourage applications that propose to develop and validate new mitochondrial-related biomarkers for cancer early detection, diagnosis, prognosis, risk assessment, and response to preventive and ameliorative treatments. The PAs invite applications using the Research Project Grant (R01) and the Exploratory/Developmental Grants (R21) funding mechanisms.

Some of the specific questions that may be addressed in response to these PAs include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Are mitochondrial genomic and proteomic profiles useful for identification of individuals who are at high-risk for cancer before clinical manifestation of disease?
  • Is an increased ratio of haplotypes within the mitochondrial genome associated with risk of developing cancer? If so, can these parameters help explain racial and ethnic differences in cancer risk?
  • Are there modifiable or host factors that can influence the correlation between mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) mutations, mitochondrial dysfunction, and cancer risk?
  • Are alterations in the mitochondrial genome and proteome associated with intermediate disease states in the neoplastic pathway, such as precursor lesions?
  • Are mtDNA alterations (such as somatic mutations and structural rearrangements including duplications and deletions) correlated with development of various cancers?
  • Can mutations or instability in mtDNA prognosticate specific types of tumorigenesis or malignant transformation?
  • How can mitochondrial markers be utilized to predict disease progression and identify novel therapeutic targets? The mitochondrial markers may comprise point mutations, deletions, amplifications, and SNPs; alterations in mitochondrial morphology/clustering; and nuclear proteins that affect mitochondrial function.
  • Can novel technology be developed for high-throughput analysis and imaging of mitochondrial clustering?
  • Are there unique mtDNA mutations associated with specific types of cancers?
  • Can mtDNA mutations be detected in pre-malignant lesions, such as prostate intraepithelial neoplasia (PIN)?
  • Can high throughput diagnostic assays that are based upon mtDNA mutations (or in combination with other markers), be developed for noninvasive detection and or monitoring of cancer?
  • Can nutrition or chemopreventive agents reduce mtDNA instability by regulating or enhancing the efficiency of mtDNA repair mechanisms?

Standard application submission and receipt dates apply. Both PAs expire on January 8, 2014.

The contact for general questions about epidemiology is EGRP’s Mukesh Verma, Ph.D., Chief, Methods and Technologies Branch.

  • Access the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts for details: PA-11-073External Web Site Policy (R01), and PA-11-074External Web Site Policy (R21).

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