NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Two institutes of the National Institutes of Health will give $24 million over four years to fund research into genotypic and phenotypic connections between lung cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), including studies seeking biomarkers and exploring interactions between genetic and environmental factors.
The Common Pathogenetic Mechanisms of Lung Cancer and COPD grant program is funded with $12 million each from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, and the National Cancer Institute. The institutes will support as many as eight grants with $585,000 in direct costs per year for applications that include a coordinating center, and up to $485,000 for applications that do not include a center.
NCI and NHLBI want to discover more about the characteristics of individuals with susceptibility to both diseases and the shared biochemical and immunological pathways that are involved. The institutes also seek to characterize the fundamental mechanisms that regulate and promote the origin and progression of both diseases when they occur in the same individual.
The knowledge from these studies will be used to develop new methods of prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of both conditions.
Researchers may use the grants to identify and validate biomarkers, molecular signatures, and imaging measures for risk, presence, severity, progression, and therapeutic responses for both diseases.
The studies also may look into the role of epigenetic changes, innate and adaptive immunity, oxidative stress, somatic mutations, and other potential contributors to lung cancer and COPD. Other research may identify shared risk factors, excluding cigarette smoke, and they may delineate mechanistic outcomes of gene-environment interactions.