Genetic Susceptibility to Cancer
The Epidemiology and Genomics Research Program (EGRP) is a strong supporter of epidemiology studies investigating genetic susceptibility to cancer across all populations, including family studies, candidate gene studies, genome-wide association studies (GWAS), and use of next generation sequencing techniques to identify variants associated with specific cancers. Such studies have identified many genetic variants that may be associated with cancer.
To further our understanding of cancer etiology and outcomes, the Program also supports studies to determine the function of identified cancer risk variants associated with specific cancers, especially in high risk or under-served populations. EGRP is also interested in research investigating gene-gene and gene-environment interactions and the integration of germline and somatic information as it contributes to understanding of cancer etiology and outcomes.
EGRP staff manage and provide technical assistance for several grant-supported initiatives and research resource contracts in the area of genomic epidemiology. Examples of significant past initiatives include:
Up for a Challenge (U4C)—Stimulating Innovation in Breast Cancer Genetic Epidemiology
NCI and Sage BioNetworks announced this prize competition in 2015 to encourage the discovery of genetic pathways involved in breast cancer risk, which will ideally result in new insights that could help improve breast cancer prevention, screening, and/or treatment. Learn more about the U4C winning teams and related scientific publications.
Genetic Association Mechanisms in Oncology (GAME-ON): A Post-Genome Wide Association Initiative
This initiative was launched by NCI in 2010 in response to RFA-CA-09-002. GAME-ON's overall goal is to foster an intra-disciplinary and collaborative approach to the translation of promising research leads deriving from the initial wave of cancer GWAS.
Methods and Approaches for Detection of Gene-Environment Interactions (PAR-11-032)
The overall goal of this funding opportunity was to develop and test innovative statistical, analytical, and bioinformatics methods and approaches for identifying gene-environment interactions for complex human diseases.
Funding Opportunity Announcements
NCI-sponsored Funding Opportunity Announcements (FOAs) related to genetic epidemiology include:
- Secondary Analysis and Integration of Existing Data to Elucidate the Genetic Architecture of Cancer Risk and Related Outcomes – expires May 8, 2020, unless reissued
- Genomic Community Resources (U24) – expires January 26, 2020, unless reissued
- PAR-17-273 (U24)
- Ethical, Legal, Social Implications of Human Genome Research – expires September 8, 2020, unless reissued
- Exploratory Grants in Cancer Epidemiology and Genomics Research - expires May 8, 2019, unless reissued
- PA-16-175 (R21)
EGRP also encourages investigator-initiated grant applications on genetic susceptibility to cancer. See also EGRP’s interests in biomarkers, gene-environment research and metabolomics in population-based studies. It also joins with other NCI Divisions, and other components of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to fund grant applications submitted in response to FOAs.
- Genomic Resources
Includes links to collaborative initiatives, datasets, and NIH policy information related to population-based genetics research.
- Genetic Simulation Resources (GSR)
A searchable catalogue of genetic simulation programs.
- Biospecimen Resources for Cancer Epidemiologists
This list provides links to biospecimen resources that may be of interest to cancer epidemiologists.
Webinars and Workshops
EGRP co-sponsors webinars, seminars, and workshops to convene experts in the fields of cancer epidemiology and genetics research to review the state of the science, identify research gaps, and establish scientific agendas and priorities for the future, such as:
- Cancer Epidemiologic Research in Understudied Populations Webinar Series, ongoing
- Sequencing Studies for Population and Cancer Epidemiology Studies (SeqSPACE) Webinar Series, ongoing
- Ethical and Regulatory Issues in Cancer Research (ENRICH) Forum, ongoing
- Symposium to Announce Finalists of NCI's "Up for a Challenge? Stimulating Innovation in Breast Cancer Genetic Epidemiology", September 2016
- Up For a Challenge? Stimulating Innovating in Breast Cancer Genetic Epidemiology: Details on the Submission Process for NCI's Prize Competition, October 2015
- Everything You Need to Know About NCI's "Up For a Challenge? Stimulating Innovation in Breast Cancer Genetic Epidemiology" Prize Competition, July 2015
- Making Sense of the Sequence: Applications in Population Sciences, May 2013
- Think Tank on Use of Metabolomics in Population-Based Research, September 2012
- NCI Think-Tank on Identifiability of Genomic Data and Biospecimens, June 2012
- Gene - Environment Think Tank, January 2012
- Prostate Cancer in Men of African Descent: Opportunities for Global Research Collaboration, October 2011
- Advancing Scientific Progress Through Genomic Data Sharing and Access, January 2011
- Next Generation Analytic Tools for Large-Scale Genetic Epidemiology Studies of Complex Diseases, September 2010
Charlisse Caga-anan, J.D. – Ethics of genetics and genomics research, health law and bioethics
Danielle Carrick, Ph.D., M.H.S. - Immunology, infectious diseases, and autoimmune diseases associated with cancer risk; pharmacoepidemiology and pharmacogenomics; biospecimen research; functional genomics
Danielle Daee, Ph.D. - Genetic susceptibility to cancer
Elizabeth M. Gillanders, Ph.D. - Genetic epidemiology of cancer
Damali N. Martin, Ph.D., M.P.H. - Cancer epidemiologic research and disparities in underserved populations, global health and cancer epidemiology, cancer registry development in the Carribean
Leah E. Mechanic, Ph.D., M.P.H. - Gene-gene and gene-environment interactions; biospecimen science; molecular epidemiology of lung cancer, hematological malignancies, and endometrial cancer
Stefanie A. Nelson, Ph.D. - Genetic differences affecting cancer risk and response to treatment, understanding the function of cancer risk variants, and interactions between the germline and somatic cancer genomes
Melissa Rotunno, Ph.D. – Genetic epidemiology of lung cancer, breast cancer, melanoma, and Hodgkin's lymphoma; application of new analytical methods in genomics; pleiotropic effects in cancer susceptibility; next-generation sequencing in cancer epidemiology
Krista A. Zanetti, Ph.D., M.P.H., R.D. - Metabolomics, -omics data integration