January 2022 EGRP Cancer Epidemiology News
EGRP Cancer Epidemiology News
- Message from Associate Director, Epidemiology and Genomics Research Program
Message from Associate Director, Epidemiology and Genomics Research Program
On behalf of all my colleagues in the Epidemiology and Genomics Research Program (EGRP), we wish you all peace, health, and happiness throughout the New Year. I continue to be impressed by the resilience and perseverance of all in the scientific community to meet the ongoing challenges we have faced during the pandemic. We greatly appreciate all of the work you do towards the goal of reducing the burden of cancer.
In our Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences (DCCPS) family, we ring in the New Year with a change in the leadership of DCCPS. We express our gratitude for the leadership of Robert (Bob) Croyle, who retired at the end of December 2021. Under his leadership, the division saw tremendous growth and accomplishments in advancing research in cancer control. The tribute to Bob published in the November 30, 2021, issue of Translational Behavioral Medicine, and Bob’s recent address to the Joint Meeting of the Board of Scientific Advisors (BSA) and the National Cancer Advisory Board (NCAB) highlight some of the vast accomplishments of the division under Bob’s leadership. To listen to Bob’s address, go to the December 8 BSA/NCAB recording and start at the 2:08:30 mark. We wish Bob the best in his retirement.
We are indeed fortunate to have Katrina Goddard assume leadership of the division as of October 2021, ensuring a smooth transition. As noted in EGRP’s October newsletter, Katrina brings extensive research expertise and leadership experience to the division.
EGRP’s staff are active in many endeavors across DCCPS, the National Cancer Institute (NCI), and the National Institutes of Health (NIH), such as Common Fund activities, the Cancer MoonshotSM, the All of Us Research Program, and COVID-19 funding activities. EGRP staff have also continued to develop funding announcements across multiple areas of research.
In this issue, we highlight new funding opportunities our scientific staff have developed this past year, and some of our virtual scientific workshops and webinars, many of which were recorded for those who were not able to participate in the live events. Additionally, we invite you to explore some of EGRP’s research tools and grant-writing resources that were either launched or updated this year.
There are many exciting ongoing and planned research activities in the cancer research community. I encourage you to tune in to NCI’s advisory board meetings, either real-time or via recordings. More information about NCAB meetings and BSA meetings can be found on NCI’s Division of Extramural Activities website. All NCAB meeting recordings and BSA meeting recordings are kept on the NIH videocast website.
With great appreciation for all your work and in recognition of all the effort of EGRP staff, we look forward to the New Year.
Kathy J. Helzlsouer, M.D., M.H.S.
Over the past few years, many EGRP staff have been involved with NCI’s implementation teams for the Cancer Moonshot. In 2021, these efforts included
- Establishing the Participant Engagement and Cancer Genome Sequencing (PE-CGS) Network. The PE-CGS Network will promote and support direct engagement of cancer patients and post-treatment cancer survivors as participants in an expansion of cancer genomic sequencing;
- Improving prevention and early detection of hereditary cancers through the Inherited Cancer Syndrome Collaborative (ICSC), an assembly of funded research projects intended to identify optimal approaches to increase case ascertainment, appropriate follow-up care, and communication for individuals at high risk of cancer due to an inherited genetic susceptibility;
- Supporting 10 new grant awards focused on pediatric, adolescent, and young adult cancer survivor research through R01 and R21 funding opportunities associated with the Childhood Cancer Survivorship, Treatment, Access and Research (STAR) Act and the Cancer Moonshot.
New Cancer Epidemiology Cohorts
In 2021, NCI funded four new prospective cohort studies of cancer survivors in response to RFA-CA-20-030. These studies will identify clinical, lifestyle, genomic, and other factors that affect health outcomes for cancer survivors, which should inform future interventions, clinical guidelines, and patient management strategies. Applicants were encouraged to address gap areas, including emerging treatments, less common cancer sites, and racial, ethnic, geographic, or socioeconomic disparities.
NCI also funded five new cohorts to study environmental exposures and cancer risk in response to RFA-CA-20-049. These prospective cohorts will address knowledge gaps in cancer etiology and carcinogenic processes, with a focus on environmental exposures in understudied and underserved populations. There will be a coordinating center for these cohorts in response to RFA-CA-20-050. The coordinating center award is anticipated in early 2022.
EGRP’s Grants Portfolio and Funding Opportunity Announcements
EGRP joins with other divisions, offices, and centers at NCI and other NIH institutes to fund investigator-initiated research and applications submitted in response to funding opportunity announcements (FOAs). EGRP supports projects in the United States and globally. We are happy to report that the overall number of funded projects that EGRP oversees increased in fiscal year 2021 to 268 grants valued at $192 million, including funding of 43 early-stage investigators.
Learn more about active cancer epidemiology projects.
Several new and re-issued FOAs, in which EGRP staff serve as scientific contacts, were published in 2021. The following FOAs that are still accepting applications include
- Clinical Characterization of Cancer Therapy-induced Adverse Sequelae and Mechanism-based Interventional Strategies (PAR-21-329)
- Exploratory Grants in Cancer Control (PAR-21-341)
- Modular R01s in Cancer Control and Population Sciences (PAR-21-190)
- NCI Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Development Center Program Solicitation*
- Topic 431 Cancer Treatment Technologies for Low-resource Settings
- Topic 438 Understanding Cancer Tumor Genomic Results: Technology Applications for Community Providers
- Topic 439 Advanced Sample Processing Platforms for Downstream Single-cell Multi-omic Analysis
- Topic 440 Cancer Prevention and Diagnosis Technologies for Low-resource Settings
- The Role of Work in Health Disparities (PAR-21-275)
- Time-Sensitive Obesity Policy and Program Evaluation (PAR-21-305)
FOAs that EGRP staff were involved with in 2021 that are no longer accepting applications include
- Metabolic Dysregulation and Cancer Risk Program: a Transdisciplinary Approach to Obesity-Associated Research
- Nutrition for Precision Health, powered by the All of Us Research Program
Additionally, EGRP staff serve as scientific contacts for the following Notices of Special Interest (NOSI) published in 2021, all of which are still active
- Administrative Supplement for Research and Capacity Building Efforts Related to Bioethical Issues (NOT-OD-22-026)
- Clinical Characterization and Intervention Strategies for Cancer Therapy Induced Adverse Sequelae (NOT-CA-22-005)
- Developing and Testing Multilevel Physical Activity Interventions to Improve Health and Well-Being (NOT-OD-21-087)
- Dietary, Physical Activity, Sedentary Behavior and Sleep Assessment Methodologies Among Infants and Young Children (Birth to 5 years) through Adults(NOT-CA-21-108)
- Early-life Factors and Cancer Development Later in Life (NOT-CA-21-074)
- Improving Outcomes in Cancer Treatment-Related Cardiotoxicity (NOT-CA-22-001)
- Understanding the effects of cancer and cancer treatment on aging trajectories and aging outcomes (NOT-CA-21-031)
- Using Systems Science Methodologies to Protect and Improve Child and Reproductive Population Health (NOT-HD-20-032)
More information about other FOAs sponsored or co-sponsored by EGRP that are currently accepting applications are available on the DCCPS funding opportunities web page. Visit EGRP’s funding and grants web page for links to additional NCI and NIH programs with FOAs relevant to cancer epidemiologists.
Scientific Meetings and Webinars
In collaboration with other NCI and NIH programs, EGRP brought together experts and interested individuals to collaborate on finding solutions to pressing scientific questions and research needs.
- In December 2021, a special edition of JNCI Monographs was published that summarizes the Cannabis, Cannabinoids, and Cancer Research Symposium, which was held late last year. The special edition provides a synopsis of opportunities and challenges related to research in this area. Recordings of the symposium’s sessions are also available.
- EGRP held a virtual workshop September 14-16, 2021, Cancer Epidemiology in Hispanic Populations, which considered the challenges, identified opportunities, and developed ideas for increasing Hispanic representation in cancer epidemiological studies. Recordings of the workshop sessions are available.
- NIH’s Nutrition and Health Disparities Implementation Working Group, which includes EGRP staff, hosted a virtual workshop on September 21-23, 2021, Food Insecurity, Neighborhood Food Environment, and Nutrition Health Disparities: State of the Science. This event was motivated in part by the release of the 2020-2030 NIH Strategic Plan for Nutrition Research, as one of its cross-cutting themes is health disparities. Anyone interested in watching the event recordings, viewing the poster sessions and other event materials can access them by registering to use the Labroots platform on the event website. The event materials will be available through September 2022.
- EGRP staff participated in planning the Addressing Social Risks in Cancer Care Delivery virtual workshop, which was led by DCCPS’ Healthcare Delivery Research Program (HDRP). This workshop took place on October 14, 15, and 18, 2021.
- The annual meeting of the NCI Cohort Consortium was held virtually November 15-16, 2021. The meeting sessions focused on data sharing and linkages, COVID-19 and cancer research and resources, and updates from several cohorts and Cohort Consortium project groups. During the meeting, Dr. Robert Croyle received an Award of Merit in recognition of his outstanding leadership and contributions to the Cohort Consortium. Dr. Roger Milne was recognized for his contributions as the outgoing chair of the Cohort Consortium’s Steering Committee, and Dr. Heather Eliassen was welcomed as the new Steering Committee chair. The Cohort Consortium also hosted four webinars in 2021 on automated data delivery in the California Teachers Study, the value of tumor immune analyses in population studies, early-onset colorectal cancer, and measurements of aging to use in cancer cohort studies. Recordings from past Cohort Consortium webinars are available on the Cohort Consortium website.
- EGRP worked with program scientists from HDRP and NIH’s Office of Emergency Care Research to organize a virtual meeting held December 1-3, 2021, Cancer-related Emergency and Urgent Care: Prevention, Management, and Care Coordination. This workshop aimed to inform evidence gaps and research recommendations to improve outcomes in cancer survivors experiencing or at risk for urgent and emergency cancer-related complications, and facilitate collaborations across oncology and emergency medicine research through the Comprehensive Oncologic Emergency Research Network (CONCERN). The workshop sessions were recorded and will be available online in early 2022.
- In addition to offering webcasts for the meetings listed above, EGRP organized more than 20 webinars in 2021 for several recurring webinar series, including a new series focused on topics related to environmental epidemiology. Other ongoing webinar series focus on body composition and cancer outcomes research, ethical and regulatory issues in cancer research (a partnership between EGRP and NCI’s Division of Cancer Treatment and Diagnosis), infectious agents and cancer epidemiology research, research in understudied populations and cancer disparities, and sequencing strategies for population-based studies.
More details about upcoming and past webinars are available on EGRP’s events webpage. Many, but not all, EGRP-supported events are recorded. Please look for the video camera icon on our events page as an indication that a recording is available.
New and Updated EGRP Research & Grant-Writing Resources
EGRP supports a number of web-based research tools and grant-writing resources. Examples of newly released and updated resources include the following:
- The Cancer Epidemiology Descriptive Cohort Database (CEDCD) contains descriptive information about cohort studies that follow groups of persons over time for cancer incidence, mortality, and other health outcomes. The CEDCD is a searchable database that contains general study information (eligibility, criteria, size), the type of data collected at baseline, cancer sites, number of participants diagnosed with cancer, and biospecimen information. All data included in this database are aggregated for each cohort; there are no individual-level data. The studies in the CEDCD are currently updating their data. Thank you to the 10+ studies who have recently completed updating their data in the CEDCD and those still in the process.
- The Cohort Consortium Project Hub enables investigators to search active and completed consortium projects and affiliated publications, as well as submit new project proposals and provide progress updates for ongoing projects.
- A new Sleep module was added to the Automated Self-Administered 24-Hour (ASA24) Dietary Assessment Tool. It allows researchers to examine the associations between sleep and dietary intake, timing of eating, and other variables in the context of the 24-hour day.
- EGRP’s Risk Factor Assessment Branch expanded its offering of modifiable risk factor assessment research resources to include the World Cancer Research Fund/American Institute for Cancer Research (WCRF/AICR) Score. This standardized scoring system can be used by researchers to assess adherence to the WCRF/AICR Cancer Prevention Recommendations and examine associations with cancer and other health-related outcomes. The Standardized Method for Estimating Intakes of Processed Red Meat and Processed Poultry, a SAS statistical software program that offers researchers a standardized method of estimating various red meat and poultry categories, is also now available.
- NIH promotes sharing research data broadly with other researchers through several data sharing policies and resources. The information on EGRP’s website about resource/data sharing plans was updated in December 2021 and includes information about current policies in effect, as well as a new NIH policy that will come into effect in January 2023 for all NIH-funded research that will generate scientific data. This webpage also links to the recent Request for Information on Proposed Updates to NIH’s Genomic Data Sharing Policy. EGRP’s website also provides examples of language that can be used to address required elements in the data sharing sections of grant applications.
- In December, EGRP updated its Sample Cancer Epidemiology Grant Applications webpage with new examples of successfully funded grant applications. This webpage serves as an online resource that provides model applications for researchers to reference when seeking funding for their own projects. EGRP is grateful to the investigators and organizations who allowed their grant applications to be shared with the broader research community.
Recently Published Funding Opportunities
- Advanced Development and Validation of Emerging Biospecimen and Science Technologies for Basic and Clinical Cancer Research (R33, Clinical Trial Not Allowed)
- Advanced Development and Validation of Emerging Molecular and Cellular Analysis Technologies for Basic and Clinical Cancer Research (R33, Clinical Trial Not Allowed)
- Innovative Biospecimen Science Technologies for Basic and Clinical Cancer Research (R61, Clinical Trial Not Allowed)
- Innovative Molecular and Cellular Analysis Technologies for Basic and Clinical Cancer Research (R61, Clinical Trial Not Allowed) *Note: There will be a pre-application webinar for NCI’s Innovative Molecular Analysis Technologies Innovative Technologies Funding Opportunities on January 25, 2022. See NOT-CA-22-022 for more details.
- Pilot Projects Enhancing Utility and Usage of Common Fund Data Sets (R03, Clinical Trial Not Allowed)
- Risk and Protective Factors of Family Health and Family Level Interventions (R01, Clinical Trial Optional)
- Notice of Special Interest (NOSI): Administrative Supplements for Research on Sexual and Gender Minority Populations (Admin Supp, Clinical Trial Optional)
- NOSI: Administrative Supplement for Research and Capacity Building Efforts Related to Bioethical Issues (Admin Supp, Clinical Trial Optional)
- NOSI: Availability of Administrative Supplements for Research on Pathobiological Mechanisms of Post-Acute Sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 Infection (NOT-OD-22-038)
- NOSI: Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems and Alternative Nicotine and Tobacco Delivery Systems: Population, Clinical and Applied Prevention Mechanisms and Health Effects (NOT-OD-22-023)
- NOSI: Epidemiologic Studies in Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders (NOT-HL-23-001)
- NOSI: Research to Address Vaccine Hesitancy, Uptake, and Implementation among Populations that Experience Health Disparities (NOT-MD-22-006)
- NOSI: Research on the Health of Women of Understudied, Underrepresented and Underreported Populations (Admin Supp, Clinical Trial Optional)
- Notice of Intent to Publish a Funding Opportunity Announcement for Cancer Control Research in Persistent Poverty Areas (NOT-CA-22-030)
- Notice of Intent to Publish a Funding Opportunity Announcement for Health Care Models for Persons with Multiple Chronic Conditions from Populations that Experience Health Disparities (NOT-MD-22-008)
Requests for Information
- Notice to Extend the Response Date for NOT-CA-22-004, "Request for Information (RFI): Seeking Input on Technology Needs for Cancer Control and Population Sciences Researchers" (NOT-CA-22-024, responses due January 15, 2022)
- Seeking Input from Technology Developers on Liquid Biopsy Studies for Early Cancer Detection (NOT-CA-22-011, responses due January 15, 2022)
- Seeking Input from Cohort and Biorepository Researchers on Liquid Biopsy Studies on Liquid Biopsy Studies for Early Cancer Detection (NOT-CA-22-010, responses due January 15, 2022)
- Search Capabilities Across the Biomedical Landscape for NIH-wide Data Discovery (NOT-OD-22-042, responses due January 28, 2022)
- Inviting Comments and Suggestions on Updating the Strategic Plan for Trans-NIH Research to Cure Hepatitis B (NOT-AI-22-018, responses due January 31, 2022)
- Listening Sessions – NIH Stakeholders Discuss Racial & Ethnic Equity (various dates through February 1, 2022)
- Proposed Updates and Long-Term Considerations for the NIH Genomic Data Sharing Policy (NOT-OD-22-029, responses due February 28, 2022)
- Research Challenges and Needs in the Interaction of Sleep and Emotion Regulation to Improve Health and Well-being Across Health Conditions (NOT-OD-22-053, responses due February 28, 2022)
Grants Policy Notices & Information
- Clarification and Guidance for Applicants Preparing Applications for the Spring 2022 Due Dates During the COVID-19 Pandemic (NOT-OD-22-046)
- Extending the Special Exception to the NIH/AHRQ/NIOSH Post-Submission Material Policy During the COVID-19 Pandemic: August/October 2022 Council Rounds (NOT-OD-22-047)
- NIH Operates Under a Continuing Resolution (NOT-OD-22-045)
- Preparing Data Sharing Plans for Grant Applications
- Sample Cancer Epidemiology Grant Applications
Career & Training Opportunities
- Cancer Research Training Award Fellowship in Environmental Epidemiology
- Data Coordinator
- NCI Division of Cancer Biology Summer Undergraduate Research Program (applications due February 14, 2022)
NCI & NIH Blog Posts and News Releases
- Eight Substances Added to 15th Report on Carcinogens
- Black Patients are More Likely to Die of Cancer - Here's How One Group is Tackling That
- For Older Adults, Geriatric Assessment Reduces Cancer Treatment Side Effects
- New Risk Model Aims to Reduce Breast Cancer Disparities in Black Women
- Accelerating COVID-19 Vaccine Testing with Correlates of Protection
- Familiar Fiscal Challenges for NCI
- Refreshing NIH’s Genomic Data Sharing Policy