National Cancer Institute NCI Cancer Bulletin: A Trusted Source for Cancer Research News
February 22, 2011 • Volume 8 / Number 4

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Radiation and Cancer Symposium to Honor DCEG’s Elaine Ron

Dr. Elaine Ron Dr. Elaine Ron

On March 9, NCI will sponsor a symposium on research strategies in radiation and cancer. The event will honor the groundbreaking research of the late Dr. Elaine Ron, former branch chief and senior investigator of the Radiation Epidemiology Branch in NCI’s Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics (DCEG).

Experts in the field of radiation and cancer epidemiology will discuss strategies for studying thyroid and other cancers caused by radiation exposure, as well as the carcinogenic effects of medical, environmental, occupational, and accidental radiation exposures. Speakers will identify promising new cancer research directions and strategies in radiation epidemiology, and the symposium will include a talk about international research opportunities by Dr. Christopher Wild, director of the International Agency for Research on Cancer.

For more information and to register for free, visit the symposium Web site.


SBIR Phase II Bridge Award Funding Available

NCI’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program has announced $10 million in funding for up to 10 new awards in FY 2011. The awards are available to small businesses seeking additional funding to support the next stage of development for previously funded NIH-wide SBIR Phase II Bridge Award projects in the areas of cancer therapeutics, imaging technologies, interventional devices, diagnostics, and prognostics.

NCI created the Bridge Award to help small businesses obtain necessary funding to accelerate the commercialization of promising cancer technologies and ultimately improve cancer prevention, detection, and treatment for patients. The Bridge Award funding opportunity is specifically designed to accomplish these goals by incentivizing partnerships between NIH’s SBIR Phase II awardees and third-party investors and/or strategic partners.

Information about how to apply for these awards is available online. Applications are due April 7.


President’s Cancer Panel Addresses Accelerating Scientific Innovation

The President’s Cancer Panel held the fourth and final meeting of its 2010–2011 series, The Future of Cancer Research: Accelerating Scientific Innovation, on February 1 in Atlanta. The meeting included expert testimony and discussion regarding opportunities to facilitate progress within the National Cancer Program (NCP), including opportunities made possible by new models for funding research.

Meeting participants from public and private organizations discussed grant review and funding models designed to support innovative projects. For example, they discussed utilizing an anonymous review process in which reviewers do not know the identity of the applicant, prohibiting the submission of preliminary data with an application, and using a “champion-based” review in which reviewers select one application for funding and make recommendations about other submissions. These approaches differ substantially from traditional review models and are intended to be more streamlined and to encourage applications from early-career investigators.

Speakers also stressed the importance of involving consumers and advocates in the grant-review process to encourage the funding of projects that have a direct, practical impact on the community.

Meeting participants highlighted the need for a national strategy to guide and coordinate the NCP, including analysis of current activities across all sectors to ensure that efforts are not being duplicated and that critical areas are being addressed. They also discussed how to improve coordination and data sharing across sectors of the cancer research community, including the dissemination of negative results and other findings that are not commonly published in mainstream journals.
The Panel will summarize the discussion and recommendations from this meeting, along with the other meetings in the series, in its 2010–2011 annual report to the President of the United States.

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