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Innovative and Applied Emerging Molecular Analysis Technologies in Cancer Research

For a description of the Innovative Molecular Analysis Technology Development for Cancer Research RFA, click here. For a description of the Validation and Advanced Development of Emerging Molecular Analysis Technologies for Cancer Research RFA, click here.

The National Cancer Institute (NCI) has developed solicitations for "“Innovative and Applied Emerging Molecular Analysis Technologies in Cancer Research” that are designed to support research projects to develop technologies that may yield novel analytical capabilities for the molecular and cellular analysis of cancer that are ready for initial clinical or laboratory application in cancer research.

Innovative Molecular Analysis Technology Development for Cancer Research

RFA: RFA-CA14-003
Award type: RPG
Funding Mechanism: R21
Required: Innovation of technology/approach1; Quantitative milestone2
Not required: Preliminary data

NCI invites applications for research projects to develop novel technologies that will support the molecular analysis of cancers and their host environment in support of basic, clinical, and epidemiological research. Technology encompasses methods and tools that enable research including, but not limited to, instrumentation, techniques, devices, and analysis tools (e.g., computer software). Technology is distinct from resources such as databases and tissue repositories. Applications for support of such resources will not be considered to be responsive to these RFAs.

Technologies solicited include those that are suitable for the detection of alterations and instabilities of genomic DNA; measurement of the expression of genes and gene products; analysis and detection of gene and or cellular products including post translational modification, and function of proteins; identification and characterization of exogenous infectious agents in cancer; and assaying the function of major signal transduction networks involved in cancer. These RFAs are intended to support the development of all required components of fully integrated systems for analysis including front end preparation of sample materials from cells, bodily fluids, and tumor specimens; novel chemistries or contrast agents; molecular detection systems; data acquisition methods; and data analysis tools. Technologies under consideration include those that will support molecular analysis either in vitro, in situ, or in vivo (by imaging or other methods) in the discovery process, as well as in pre-clinical models and clinical research.

This initiative is part of a broader technology development program within the NCI. That program underscores the desire of NCI to develop and integrate novel technologies focused on the molecular analysis of cancers and their micro-environment in support of cancer research, diagnosis, and treatment. In the research continuum of discovery, development, and delivery, this program thus emphasizes the link between development and delivery. This specific initiative aims to foster the development of sample preparation techniques and methodologies that are essential for effective research, technology development, and validation that will eventually lead to clinical applications.

Validation and Advanced Development of Emerging Molecular Analysis Technologies for Cancer Research

RFA: RFA-CA14-004
Award type: RPG
Funding Mechanism: R33
Required: Feasibility data3
Not required: Preliminary data

NCI invites applications for research projects to evaluate the utility and pilot the application of molecular analysis technologies in studies relevant to cancer research. Molecular analysis technologies of interest include those that are emerging but not currently in broad scale use or technologies currently in use for one application or set of applications, and are being evaluated for utility for alternative applications. These RFAs provide support for a first phase for technology evaluation and a second phase for pilot application of the technology in a study of biological interest to cancer research.

The design of these studies should allow the demonstration that the technology can reproducibly obtain molecular data from the selected sample type and produce information of biological interest to cancer research. Studies might appropriately target analysis of precancerous, cancerous, or metastatic cells, or host derived samples, from model cancer systems, preclinical or clinical research, or from population-based research.

Technologies suited for this solicitation include those that enable the: detection of alterations and instabilities of genomic DNA; measurement of expression of genes and gene products; analysis and detection of gene and/or cellular products including differential expression, quantitation, post translational modification, and function of proteins; identification of exogenous infectious agents in cancer; assaying the function or major signal transduction networks involved in cancer.

Additionally, technologies that will support molecular analysis in vitro, in situ, or in vivo (by imaging or other methods) are suitable for these RFAs. Technologies are defined as instrumentation, techniques, devices, and analytical tools (e.g., computer software) but are distinct from resources such as databases and tissue repositories.


1While no preliminary data are necessary, the applicants must demonstrate the innovative nature of the particular technology or approach proposed for development.

2Quantitative milestones for each specific aim must be provided as a way of determining during the project and at its completion whether an applicant has successfully reached the specified goal. Milestones should be clearly stated as numerical quantitative specifications for relevant measures/properties.

3Detailed preliminary data must be provided in support of the feasibility of the technology or approach that is proposed for development. Such data may reflect successful completion of Phase I and associated milestones. For SBIR/STTR FOAs, feasibility data need to be largely obtained through a NIH-sponsored Phase I project.