The commitment, which still requires approval from the institutes' scientific advisory boards and councils, comes after an NCI and NHGRI-sponsored workshop held last month to get input from members of the scientific community on how best to achieve the project's goal.
The pilot phase of the effort will "focus on addressing the wide range of challenges in cancer biology and technology that must be met in order to implement a successful large-scale human cancer genome project," according to the National Institutes of Health. "The initial phases also will analyze whether the comprehensive cataloguing of the sequence changes in cancer will prove useful in understanding cancer and lead to new methods of diagnosis and treatment."
Initial work on the pilot project, which is anticipated to take three years, is set to begin in 2006.
Additional information on the cancer genome effort is expected to be available in a forthcoming report from the July workshop, NIH said.