EGRP News Flash - September 6, 2011

Funding Opportunities for Conducting Pilot Studies in Pancreatic Cancer

The National Cancer Institute's (NCI) Epidemiology and Genetics Research Program (EGRP) is participating in the reissuance of two Funding Opportunity Announcements (FOAs) aimed to promote innovative, multi-disciplinary research to better understand the etiology of pancreatic cancer and to facilitate its early detection, prevention, and treatment. The FOAs use the NIH Small Research Grant (R03) and the NIH Exploratory/Developmental Grant (R21) funding mechanisms.

Pancreatic cancer is a highly lethal disease with the worst prognosis of all the major malignancies. There are 44,030 estimated new cases diagnosed and approximately 37,660 deaths from pancreatic cancer in the United States in 2011. At least 10 percent of pancreatic cancer occurs in a familial form and may be linked to six genetic syndromes or variants. However, it is likely that previously unrecognized susceptibility genes and gene-environment interactions can predispose a subset of the population to pancreatic cancer.

Due to a lack of methods to detect pancreatic carcinoma at an early stage and its aggressive progression, the disease is often far advanced in patients by the time a definite diagnosis is established. Conventional treatment approaches have had little impact on the course of this disease in pancreatic cancer patients. It is clear that a better understanding of the etiology and biology of pancreatic cancer is urgently needed to increase the chances for timely and effective diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of malignancy.

All the proposed projects must be focused on, and directly pertinent to pancreatic cancer. Given the limits of the scientific scope appropriate for the mechanism of these FOAs, specific topics of interest may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Conduct of correlative studies using specimens from multi-institutional prevention and/or treatment trials to study outcomes;
  • Identification of new environmental exposures that contribute to pancreatic cancer, including adverse energy balance;
  • Determination of which combination(s) of genetic and/or environmental factors give rise to pancreatic cancer;
  • Assessment of the impact of pancreatic cancer on health-related quality of life of patients and their caregivers;
  • Conduct of pilot surveillance studies and generation of survivorship registries; and
  • Identification of factors that may contribute to disparity in incidence of pancreatic cancer among populations.

The number of awards is contingent upon NIH appropriations and the submission of a sufficient number of meritorious applications. For R03 applications, a project period of up to two years may be requested with a budget for direct costs of up to two $25,000 modules or $50,000 per year. The combined budget of direct costs for an R21 two year project period may not exceed $275,000, and no more than $200,000 may be requested in any single year. Both the R03 and the R21 are not renewable. Standard application submission and receipt dates apply. These announcements expire on January 8, 2015.

The NCI contact for cancer control, epidemiology, and survivorship is EGRP's Mukesh Verma, Ph.D., Chief, Methods and Technologies Branch.

Access the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts for details:

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