EGRP News Flash - May 21, 2012

Proposals Invited To Use Biospecimens from Prostate, Lung, Colorectal and Ovarian (PLCO) Cancer Screening Trial

The Steering Committee for the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal and Ovarian (PLCO) Cancer Screening Trial's Etiologic and Early Marker Studies (EEMS) Program has announced a request for proposals from investigators who are interested in using biospecimens from the PLCO Trial for their research. The deadline for receipt of proposals is July 16, 2012.

The PLCO Cancer Screening Trial is sponsored and run by the National Cancer Institute's (NCI) Division of Cancer Prevention (DCP), in collaboration with the Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics (DCEG).

What is PLCO?

The Prostate, Lung, Colorectal and Ovarian (PLCO) Cancer Screening Trial is a large randomized controlled trial evaluating screening programs for these cancers. The PLCO Biorepository contains approximately 2.7 million biologic specimens, including blood specimens collected from intervention participants during their six trial screening years and buccal cell specimens collected from control participants.

How can I access PLCO biospecimens and what is 'EEMS'?

PLCO biospecimens are available to the entire scientific community. Access to the biospecimens is administered through The Etiologic and Early Marker Studies (EEMS) Program, a component of the PLCO Trial established to facilitate etiologic and early marker research using PLCO biospecimens. EEMS accepts proposal applications twice a year in June/July and December/January. More details about PLCO EEMSExternal Web Site Policy are available on the PLCO Web siteExternal Web Site Policy. (You can request an account if you do not already have one.)

Does PLCO EEMS have tissue samples in addition to blood and buccal cell specimens?

Recent additions to the PLCO Biorepository include tissue microarrays (TMAs) created from formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded pathology tissues. TMAs are currently available for colon cancer, colorectal adenoma, ovarian cancer, prostate cancer, breast cancer, and lung cancer. Ideally, TMA slides should be cut close to the time of laboratory analysis to preserve antigenicity. To minimize material loss, PLCO seeks multiple proposal applications so that slides can be cut for multiple projects at once. For additional information regarding the PLCO study, PLCO biospecimens, and TMAs, please log-in to the PLCO STaRS Web siteExternal Web Site Policy.

Is funding provided?

PLCO biospecimens and associated data are provided upon approval of the proposal application. However, funding is not provided via the PLCO EEMS review process.

What is the PLCO EEMS application process?

Proposals will be accepted for the PLCO EEMS Winter review cycle between June 1, 2012 and July 16, 2012. Applications will be accepted until July 16, 2012. The EEMS application materials (the EEMS application forms, instructions, NIH biosketch template, confidentiality disclosure agreement (CDA), and the EEMS policy document), as well as general information regarding the EEMS review process can be found on the PLCO STaRSExternal Web Site Policy home page. Individuals who do not already have access to PLCO STaRS can self-register by clicking the Login button located on the upper right corner of the page. If you have any questions about registration or the PLCO STaRS Web site, you should contact the PAR PLCO Helpdesk or call (240) 314-2313.

Once your proposal is received, the EEMS Coordinating Center (Westat) will verify that all components are completed and forward the completed proposal packet to the EEMS Principal Investigators, the PLCO Project Officers, and Chief Statistician for an initial suitability review. This initial review will be completed by mid-August 2012; applicants will then be notified of the results of the suitability review. The EEMS Review Panel will then review and provide comments on all suitable proposals based on the study's significance, approach, innovation, compliance to PLCO priorities and policies, proposed statistical approach, proposed laboratory assays, and the qualifications of the investigator team. It is anticipated that this review will be completed by late-September 2012, contingent upon the quantity of proposals received. The EEMS Principal Investigators and the PLCO Project Officers will then make the final decision regarding all acceptable proposals based on input from the EEMS Review Panel.

EEMS proposals and additional materials must be submitted electronically through the online application form found on the PLCO STaRS Web siteExternal Web Site Policy.

Confidentiality Agreements (CDA) should be sent to the following address:

Bob Wagner
Technology Transfer Specialist
NCI Technology Transfer Branch
6120 Executive Boulevard, Suite 450
Rockville, Maryland 20852
Phone: (301) 496-0477
Fax: (301) 402-2117

What happens after my proposal is approved?

If your proposal is approved, you will have up to three years from the date of approval to request the shipment of samples and commence activities on your study; please note that an Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval letter, as well as an executed PLCO EEMS Material Transfer Agreement (MTA) will be required in most cases prior to the release of samples. If you are unable to request shipment of samples within this time frame due to lack of funding or other issues, please inform us. Otherwise, your application will be considered withdrawn and these samples will be released, allowing other investigators to submit proposals to use them. Similarly, you will be required to re-apply should you still wish to use these samples. Additionally, once you receive samples, you have two years to submit laboratory analysis results to IMS.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to email or call, (301) 212-3723. Thank you for your time, and we wish you success in your PLCO-related studies.

Additional Biospecimen Resources, Best Practices

View more information on other biospecimen resources and links to best practice guidelines documents for biospecimen research.

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