Studies Find Potential Biomarkers for Ovarian, Head and Neck Cancers
Two new studies demonstrate the promise that proteomics holds for advancing cancer care, particularly efforts to improve cancer prevention. Both studies found potential biomarkers that signal the early presence of two forms of cancer for which preventive efforts have proven especially difficult, ovarian cancer and head and neck squamous cell cancer (HNSCC). In both cases, researchers relied on mass spectrometry - a type of technology that allows molecules to be detected even in minute quantities - to analyze proteins for potential biomarkers.
In a study published in the January 2004 issue of Disease Markers, researchers analyzed the low-molecular-weight portion of plasma serum samples from patients with ovarian cancer. They found biomarkers bound to large circulating carrier proteins that were 100 percent predictive of ovarian cancer. In addition, biomarkers bound to the protein albumin had a distinct pattern from those bound to other carrier proteins, suggesting that albumin could prove to be an important target for future diagnostic research. Read more
RO1 Pay Line for 2004: 20th Percentile
Last week, President Bush signed into law the FY 2004 Omnibus Appropriations Bill. This legislation included the appropriations bill that funds the Department of Health and Human Services, including all NIH agencies. For NCI, the bill provides a budget of $4.77 billion, an increase of $178 million, or 3.9 percent, over FY 2003. Within the omnibus package, however, were provisions that required two rescissions, of which NCI's share is $31 million. As a result, the final FY 2004 budget increase for NCI is $147 million, or 3.2 percent.
The good news is that we remain at a historically high level of NCI funding for cancer research. The challenge is that the 3.2 percent increase means there are limited funds for new initiatives or program expansions. In fact, as a result of cost-of-living adjustments, an increasing number of noncompeting grants, and assessments to support the NIH Roadmap Initiative and other centralized activities, we are effectively operating with a budget that is $2.7 million less than last year's operating budget. This means that every decision to fund something new requires a decision not to fund something else. Read more