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NCI to Fund Development of Predictive Models for Cancer Risk, Prognosis

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The National Cancer Institute seeks to fund researchers who will conduct innovative work aimed at developing or improving models for assessing cancer risk and prognosis.

These research programs could include studies to identify or validate protein biomarkers or genetic variants that could be used to develop the prediction models, according to a recently published program announcement.

The studies, funded under a program entitled "Development, Application, and Evaluation of Prediction Models for Cancer Risk and Prognosis," should use existing data to develop models that could be used in research and in clinical environments.

The grants will be administered under the R01 mechanism. NCI did not specify a funding total for the R01 grants, but said that they may provide support to researchers for no more than five years.

The R01 grants will also be administered in parallel with a grant program under the NIH Exploratory/Developmental R21 mechanism, which limits direct costs to $275,000 over a two-year period and $200,000 in a single year.

Because genes and proteins may be used to detect cancer recurrence and response to treatment, NCI explained in its program announcement, "models incorporating gene and protein expression which have continuously distributed estimates of risk of recurrence and/or response to therapy, are essential for tailoring therapy to appropriate groups of patients."

The research programs could include model-development studies that could focus on genetic susceptibility and prognostic risk factors, cancer stratification, and prognostic models.

The studies also could focus on model validation studies, which could include developing new statistical methods to validate and evaluate models for genetic susceptibility and risk prediction; and they could use data from screening, intervention, and treatment programs to evaluate the usefulness of prediction models for risk assessment, prognosis, and response to therapy.

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