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NCI to Fund Early Detection Research Network Grants

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The National Cancer Institute will fund numerous grants to support its Early Detection Research Network, which is a national consortium focused on discovering, developing, and validating biomarkers for early cancer detection, risk assessment, and molecular diagnosis and prognosis of early cancer.

These new grants will fund all of the EDRN's four major components, including the Biomarker Reference Laboratories (BRLs), Biomarker Development Laboratories (BDLs), Clinical Validation Centers (CVCs), and the Data Management and Coordinating Centers (DMCCs).

Under the new funding, the BRL program will be funded with $3 million per year to support five awards for up to five years. The BRLs are a network resource for clinical and laboratory validation of biomarkers.

For the BDL grants, NCI plans to commit between $10 million and $11 million per year to fund between 20 and 25 labs with up to $600,000 per year each. The BDLs are responsible for developing and characterizing new biomarkers, or refining existing biomarkers or biomarker assays.

The CVC grants will provide a total of between $9 million and $10 million to up to 10 CVCs, with up to $600,000 per year for up to five years for each center. The CVCs conduct clinical research to validate biomarkers for cancer, and serve as a resource for collaborative research within the EDRN.

Applicants for the DMCC awards may seek up to $1.3 million per year for up to five years. The data management centers grants support statistical and computational analyses, data management, protocol development, informatics infrastructure, and the coordination of network-wide meetings and conferences.

The EDRN follows a five-phase approach to biomarker discovery including the pre-clinical exploratory phase; the validation phase; the retrospective longitudinal phase; the prospective screening study phase; and the cancer control phase.

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