EGRP News Flash - April 22, 2008

Two Funding Opportunities Announced For Mitochondria Research In Cancer Epidemiology, Detection, Diagnosis, And Prognosis

The National Cancer Institute (NCI) is sponsoring two Program Announcements to stimulate the development and validation of novel mitochondrial (mt) DNA biomarkers for understanding etiology, early detection, diagnosis, prognosis, and risk assessment of cancer, and response to preventive and ameliorative treatment. The PAs invite applications using the Research Project Grant (R01) and the Exploratory/Developmental Grants (R21) funding mechanisms. The Epidemiology and Genetics Research Program (EGRP) is the initiator and a cosponsor of these PAs.

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

  • Are mitochondrial markers useful for identification of high risk groups before clinical onset of disease?
  • Are mitochondrial characteristics or haplotypes associated with risk of developing cancer? If so, can this help explain racial and ethnic differences in cancer risk?
  • Are there modifiable factors or host factors that influence the relationship between mtDNA characteristics and cancer risk?
  • Are mitochondria correlated with intermediate disease states in the neoplastic pathway, such as precursor lesions?
  • Are genetic and mtDNA alterations (somatic mutations, deletions) correlated during cancer development?
  • Can the character of mtDNA anticipate the potential aggressiveness of malignancy?
  • How can mitochondrial markers be utilized to predict disease progression and identify novel therapeutic targets?
  • Can we advance the technology for high-throughput analysis and imaging of mitochondrial clustering?
  • Are there unique mtDNA mutations associated with specific types of cancers?
  • How early can mtDNA mutations be detected - can they be detected in pre-malignant lesions such as PIN?
  • Can a diagnostic assay based on mutations in mtDNA alone or in combination with other markers be developed for noninvasive detection and/or monitoring of cancer?
  • Can nutrition or chemopreventive agents ameliorate genetic effects of mitochondrial activity induced mutational events?

Because the nature and scope of the proposed research will vary, it is anticipated that the size and duration of each award will also vary. The total project period for R21 applications submitted in response to this funding opportunity announcement may not exceed two years and direct costs are limited to $275,000 over the two-year period, with no more than $200,000 in direct costs allowed in any single year. Standard application submission and receipt dates apply. Both PAs expire on May 8, 2011.

The contact for general questions about epidemiology is EGRP's Mukesh Verma, Ph.D., Chief, Methods and Technologies Branch, and Acting Chief, Host Susceptibility Factors Branch.

Also cosponsoring these PAs are NCI's Division of Cancer Prevention (DCP), Division of Cancer Treatment and Diagnosis (DCTD), and the Office of the Director (OD). Please refer to the PAs for the scientific contacts.

Access the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts for details: PA-08-143 (R01)External Web Site Policy, and PA-08-144 (R21)External Web Site Policy

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