CCSG Guidelines to Build on Working Group Recommendations
During a Feb. 18 meeting of the National Cancer Advisory Board's (NCAB's) Subcommittee on Cancer Centers, National Cancer Institute (NCI) officials presented a status report on Cancer Center Support Grant (CCSG) issues, including draft revisions to the CCSG guidelines. The report follows recommendations for improving the award mechanisms that fund NCI-designated cancer centers (P30 grants) and Specialized Programs of Research Excellence, or SPOREs, (P50 grants) developed by a subcommittee ad hoc working group. Dr. Karen Antman, on an intergovernmental personnel appointment to assist NCI in implementing the working group's recommendations, and Dr. Linda Weiss, chief of the NCI Cancer Centers Branch, gave the report.
As recommended, several operational changes are in the works to increase center leaders' involvement in strategic planning. The working group also recommended that cancer centers be used for piloting new research and dissemination programs, something that Dr. Antman stressed is already underway. More than 50 cancer centers, for example, are participating in the development of the cancer Biomedical Informatics Grid (caBIG) initiative, and many others have received U54 awards to form partnerships with institutions that serve a large minority population. In 2003, nearly $21 million in awards were made to cancer centers for innovative programs like these, she said. Read more
Molecular Epidemiology: A Time for Strategic Partnerships
Epidemiology has been depicted as a scientific approach that moves slowly, but with great force. However, by incorporating the powerful new tools being generated by recent advances in genomics and molecular sciences, epidemiology has an unparalleled opportunity to move more quickly and with greater force than ever. To foster this approach, NCI has designated "molecular epidemiology" as a strategic priority area to meet the director's 2015 challenge goal. Poised to accelerate knowledge about the genetic and environmental components of cancer induction and progression, it will also help identify new preventive, diagnostic, and therapeutic interventions.
An integral feature of this initiative is the planning and development of strategic partnerships that link epidemiologists with one another and with genomicists and other investigators from the clinical, basic, and population sciences. This transdisciplinary team-based approach responds to a growing consensus in the scientific community that the full potential of genomic and other emerging technologies will require large-scale epidemiologic studies. Read more