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Epidemiology and Genomics Research Program

Cancer and Emergency Medicine

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Nonniekaye F. Shelburne, CRNP, MS, AOCN
Program Director, Clinical and Translational Epidemiology Branch

Overview and Statement of Interest

Emergency departments (ED) and Urgent Care Centers evaluate and manage patients with a wide variety of unplanned cancer complications, including febrile neutropenia, respiratory distress, spinal cord compression, and acute pain. Because increasing numbers of patients with cancer are treated in the outpatient setting, urgent care and EDs often are the first place patients turn when they have a complication or unexpected worsening of their condition. Providers must quickly evaluate clinical, laboratory, and radiographic tests, manage complex critical conditions, stratify patient needs, determine appropriate treatment, identify the most appropriate care setting (e.g., hospital admission versus outpatient), and coordinate post-visit care with the primary care provider and oncologist. Knowledge gaps in the identification, prevention, and management of cancer-related urgent and emergency care needs, as well as operational challenges, may lead to delays in life-saving care, treatments that are less cost-effective, and avoidable hospital admissions.

NCI and the NIH Office of Emergency Care Research (OECR) held scientific workshops in 2015 and 2021, published research agendas in 2016 and 2022, and established the Comprehensive Oncologic Emergency Medicine Research Network (CONCERN) to accelerate knowledge generation, synthesis and translation of oncologic emergency medicine research through multi-center collaborations.

Since 2015, multiple retrospective and prospective studies have more clearly characterized the population of cancer survivors utilizing urgent and emergency medicine services and identified new evidence gaps and intervention targets. A key to moving this field forward is collaborations cross oncology, specialty care, and emergency medicine experts and looking across the cancer care continuum to manage and coordinate care needs.

The National Cancer Institute's (NCI) Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences (DCCPS), of which the Epidemiology and Genomics Research Program (EGRP) is a part, is interested in addressing knowledge gaps by supporting investigator-initiated applications for observational and multilevel intervention studies focused on health-related outcomes in cancer patients utilizing urgent and emergency care services.

DCCPS is specifically interested in:

  1. Cancer-related utilization of urgent and emergency care and the patient, caregiver, clinician, and delivery system factors that drive care use
  2. Risk stratification, risk prediction models, and evidence-based strategies to improve health-related outcomes in the cancer population utilizing emergency services
  3. Efforts to reduce unscheduled urgent and emergency care use

Studies should include collaborations between oncology, clinical specialists, and urgent and emergency medicine experts appropriate for the proposed science.

Relevant Funding Opportunities

Applications related to cancer and emergency medicine should be submitted according to instructions provided in a relevant NIH funding opportunity announcement. Below are announcements that may be of interest:

  • Exploratory Grants in Cancer Epidemiology and Genomics Research (Clinical Trial Optional) – expires October 9, 2024, unless reissued
  • Modular R01s in Cancer Control and Population Sciences (Clinical Trial Optional) – expires November 6, 2024, unless reissued
  • NIH Research Project Grant (Parent R01 Clinical Trial Not Allowed) – expires January 8, 2025, unless reissued
  • Dissemination and Implementation Research in Health (Clinical Trial Optional) – expires May 8, 2025, unless reissued
  • Cancer Prevention and Control Clinical Trials Planning Grant Program (Clinical Trials Optional) – expires September 8, 2025, unless reissued
  • National Cancer Institute Program Project Applications for the Years 2023, 2024, and 2025 (Clinical Trial Optional) – expires May 8, 2026, unless reissued
  • Cancer Prevention and Control Clinical Trials Grant Program (Clinical Trial Required) – expires January 8, 2027, unless reissued

Related Workshops

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Resources for Oncology and Emergency Medicine Researchers