Skip to Main Content
An official website of the United States government
Epidemiology and Genomics Research Program

May 2024 EGRP Cancer Epidemiology News

EGRP Cancer Epidemiology News

NCI-Supported Cancer Epidemiology Cohorts: Past, Present, and Future

The National Cancer Institute (NCI) has made substantial investments in cancer epidemiology cohorts to study both cancer etiology and survivorship. These cohorts vary in sample size and scientific scope. They have advanced knowledge across the cancer continuum by providing fundamental insights into key environmental, lifestyle, clinical, and genetic determinants of cancer and its outcomes. The Epidemiology and Genomics Research Program (EGRP) currently supports over 45 cancer epidemiology cohorts. Collectively, these survivor and etiology cohorts have enrolled over 1 million participants. Moreover, these cohorts have rich epidemiological data and biospecimens that could be leveraged by researchers worldwide to investigate novel research questions.

In the 1990s, NCI supported large-scale etiology cohorts as investigator-initiated R01s or P01s. With recognition of the rising number of cancer survivors and critical needs to ameliorate burden in survivorship, funding for survivor cohorts began in the mid-2000s to address scientific gaps. More recently, and with anticipated research needs, EGRP has enhanced its efforts to increase the diversity of the cohorts in NCI’s portfolio – in terms of the participant demographics (e.g., race/ethnicity, age, and less common cancer types) and scientific questions being addressed (e.g., emerging cancer treatments; disparities; and impact of climate change, environmental disasters, behavioral factors, and novel chemicals on cancer risk and outcomes).

Three funding opportunities with targeted goals have been published: (1) Utilizing Cohort Studies to Address Health Outcomes in Cancer Survivors (RFA-CA-20-030); (2) New Cohorts for Environmental Exposures and Cancer Risk (CEECRExternal Web Site Policy) (RFA-CA-20-049); and (3) Cannabis and Cannabinoid Use in Adult Cancer Patients During Treatment: Assessing Benefits and Harms (RFA-CA-22-052). Together, these initiatives resulted in the creation of 14 new cancer epidemiology cohorts (four cohorts addressing health outcomes in survivors, five cohorts focused on environmental exposures and cancer risk, and five survivor cohorts focused on cannabis use) that are currently enrolling targeted populations and establishing prospectively collected resources to be shared and leveraged by the extramural community. In alignment with the goals of the National Cancer Plan and Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences, these new cohorts seek to complement other investigator-initiated studies to meet needs and drive innovation and forward-thinking cancer epidemiological research.

In addition, EGRP has ongoing efforts to encourage grant applications that address scientific knowledge gaps in cancer etiology and cancer survivorship. New cohorts may be proposed through Building the Next Generation of Research Cohorts (PAR-22-161) to initiate and build cancer epidemiology cohorts that can address critical scientific gaps concerning new or unique exposures in relation to cancer risk and/or outcomes. New cohorts proposed should seek to include understudied populations (racial/ethnic groups, rural populations, individuals living in persistent poverty areas) as the focus of the cohort, and also have plans for community engagement to establish bi-directional partnerships between researchers and community partners. This is critical to incorporate and integrate respective unique strengths and perspectives to inform research priorities in ways that are sensitive to local cultures and belief systems.

While building resources with new cohorts, NCI also seeks to leverage the existing cohort resources for hypothesis-driven studies (Research Opportunities in Established Cancer Epidemiology Cohort Studies, PAR-22-162). Established cohorts (defined as studies that have achieved their initial planned recruitment goal) have a wealth of exposure data, stored biospecimens, considerable follow-up time, and cancer information. Through PAR-22-162, researchers can propose studies that leverage existing cohort data and biospecimens to address novel hypotheses and address gaps in scientific knowledge (e.g., understudied populations [race/ethnicity, socioeconomic status, early-onset cancers, and geography], understudied cancers, and exposures) while supporting cohort infrastructure.

For more information about NCI-funded cancer epidemiology cohorts, visit the EGRP cohort website or contact cohort coordinators Somdat Mahabir, PhD, MPH, and Danielle Carrick, PhD, MHS. Additionally, the Cancer Epidemiology Descriptive Cohort Database (CEDCD) contains descriptive information about cohort studies in EGRP’s grants portfolio and other non-NCI funded cohorts.

Funding Opportunities

  • RFA-CA-24-022, SBIR Phase IIB Bridge Awards to Accelerate the Development of Cancer-Relevant Technologies Toward Commercialization (R44, Clinical Trial Optional)
  • RFA-CA-24-023, Small Business Transition Grant For Early Career Scientists (R41/R42, Clinical Trial Not Allowed)
  • PAR-24-207, Interventions to Address Disparities in Liver Disease and Liver Cancer (R01, Clinical Trials Optional)
  • Academic Research Enhancement Award (AREA) for Undergraduate-Focused Institutions
  • Mentored Research Scientist Development Award
    • PA-24-175 (Parent K01, Independent Clinical Trial Required)
    • PA-24-176 (Parent K01, Independent Clinical Trial Not Allowed)
    • PA-24-177 (Parent K01, Independent Basic Experimental Studies with Humans Required)
  • Mentored Clinical Scientist Research Career Development Award
    • PA-24-181 (Parent K08, Independent Clinical Trial Required)
    • PA-24-182 (Parent K08, Independent Clinical Trial Not Allowed)
    • PA-24-183 (Parent K08, Independent Basic Experimental Studies with Humans Required)
  • NIH Pathway to Independence Award
    • PA-24-193 (Parent K99/R00, Independent Clinical Trial Required)
    • PA-24-194 (Parent K99/R00, Independent Clinical Trial Not Allowed)
    • PA-24-195 (Parent K99/R00, Independent Basic Experimental Studies with Humans Required)
  • NOT-OD-24-096, Notice of Special Interest (NOSI): Promoting Data Reuse for Health Research
  • NOT-CA-24-044, NOSI: Administrative Supplements for the Study of the Diverse Aspects of Uterine Serous Carcinoma (Clinical Trial Not Allowed)
  • NOT-CA-24-047, NOSI: Administrative Supplement to Support the NCI Cancer Prevention-Interception Targeted Agent Discovery Program (CAP-IT) Research
  • NOT-CA-24-058, NOSI: Administrative Supplement for Natural History and Longitudinal Dynamics of Lung Nodules using the NLST dataset
  • NOT-OD-24-119, NOSI: Research Opportunities Centering the Health of Women Across the HIV Research Continuum
  • NOT-CA-24-048, Notice of Intent to Publish a Funding Opportunity Announcement for Addressing Barriers to Healthcare Transitions for Survivors of Childhood and Adolescent Cancers (R01, Clinical Trial Optional)

Contract Opportunities

Grants Policy Announcements

  • NOT-OD-24-109, Notice of Fiscal Policies in Effect for FY 2024
  • NOT-OD-24-110, Notice of Legislative Mandates in Effect for FY 2024
  • NOT-OD-24-115, Publication of the Revised NIH Grants Policy Statement (Rev. April 2024) for Fiscal Year 2024
  • NOT-OD-24-118, Continued Extension of Certain Flexibilities for Prospective Basic Experimental Studies with Human Participants
  • NOT-OD-24-124, Updates to NIH Training Grant Applications - Registration Open for June 5, 2024 Webinar
  • NOT-OD-24-104, Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Stipends, Tuition/Fees and Other Budgetary Levels Effective for Fiscal Year 2024

Requests for Information

  • NOT-CA-24-046, Seeking Input on Existing Study Populations with Multi-Cancer Detection (MCD) Test Results and Available Samples for Germline Testing (responses due by June 10, 2024)
  • NOT-CA-24-051, Seeking Input on Existing Study Populations with Germline Results and Samples Available for Multi-Cancer Detection (MCD) Assay Testing (responses due by June 17, 2024)
  • NOT-OD-24-112, FDA-NIH Resource on Terminology for Clinical Research (responses due by June 24, 2024)
  • NOT-OD-24-122, The National Institutes of Health (NIH) Request for Information (RFI) on NIH-Wide Strategic Plan for Sexual and Gender Minority (SGM) Health Research (responses due by July 15, 2024)

New Resources

News, Blog Posts, and Podcasts

Stay Connected

Subscribe for Updates

You can subscribe and unsubscribe at any time by entering your email address and selecting your preferences on the page that follows.

Subscribe to the E-Newsletter

Need Help?

EGRP staff can answer questions on grant funding, policies, and research resources. If you do not know who to contact we will do our best to connect you with someone who can help you.

Email Us
(240) 276-6730