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Prevention and Early Detection of Hereditary Cancers

NCI has announced several funding opportunities that align with the Cancer Moonshot.

See Funding Opportunities

There are more than 50 known hereditary cancer syndromes; however, testing for these syndromes in appropriate populations still remains a vastly underused cancer prevention strategy. Many individuals at risk for cancer lack access to genetic screening and preventative approaches due to cost, geographical location, or lack of understanding about these strategies. By improving the availability and uptake of these tests by individuals and families at high-risk for cancer, significant improvements can be made in the prevention and early treatment of inherited cancer syndromes.

This recommendation supports research to develop, test, and implement evidence-based strategies to identify those at risk for inherited cancer syndromes and implement appropriate clinical management. This includes improving access to genetic counseling and testing concordant with appropriate follow-up care for prevention and early detection of cancer. In addition, advancing the understanding of mechanisms and identifying biomarkers associated with cancer development can lead to improved prevention and early detection interventions.

The ultimate goal of this research is to develop effective cancer prevention and early detection approaches for individuals at high risk for cancer.

NCI has published several requests for applications that align with the Blue Ribbon Panel’s recommendations to expand identification of those at high risk of cancer and implement effective prevention and early detection strategies. Some awards have been made and additional funding announcements requesting applications are available.

Approaches to Identify and Care for Individuals with Inherited Cancer Syndromes

The funding announcement (RFA-CA-19-017) seeks research projects to identify the best approaches to identify those with an inherited cancer syndrome and provide appropriate follow-up care. The innovative approaches being designed through these research studies will enhance the identification and care for individuals with inherited cancer syndromes and improve the clinical management of individuals at high risk of cancer.

RESPOND: Research on Prostate Cancer in Men of African Ancestry

African-American men are more likely to be diagnosed with aggressive prostate cancer compared to other ethnic groups. NCI, the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) and the Prostate Cancer Foundation are funding the RESPOND study to understand this health disparity. It’s the largest coordinated study of environmental and genetic factors associated with aggressive prostate cancer in African-American men. The researchers of RESPOND will explore complex interactions between biology, behavior, and the environment that play a role in aggressive prostate cancer and the poor outcomes experienced by African-American men. The knowledge from this study could lead to the development of new approaches to prevent, diagnose, and treat prostate cancer in this minority population at risk for aggressive prostate cancer.

Projects Awarded Cancer Moonshot Funding to Address Inherited Cancer Syndromes

Awarded Projects
Funding Opportunity Project Title Institution Principal Investigator(s)
Approaches to Identify and Care for Individuals with Inherited Cancer Syndromes (U01) Leveraging an Electronic Medical Record Infrastructure to Identify Primary Care Patients Eligible for Genetic Testing for Hereditary Cancer and Evaluate Novel Cancer Genetics Service Delivery Models University of Utah Buys, Saundra S; Ginsburg, Ophira; Kaphingst, Kimberly A
Approaches to Identify and Care for 
Individuals with Inherited Cancer Syndromes (U01 Clinical Trial Required)
Implementing the moon: Getting genomic testing to the public University Of Washington Bowen, Deborah J; Swisher, Elizabeth Mary
Randomized trial of universal vs. guideline-directed germline testing among young adults with cancer University Of Pennsylvania Nathanson, Katherine L; Joffe, Steven 
Improving identification and healthcare for patients with Inherited Cancer Syndromes: Evidence-based EMR implementation using a web-based computer platform Vanderbilt University Medical Center Wiesner, Georgia L; Orlando, Lori Ann
Communication and Decision Making 
for Individuals with Inherited Cancer Syndromes (U01 Clinical Trial Optional)
The AYA-RISE Intervention: Risk Information and Screening Education for Adolescents and Young Adults with Cancer Predisposition Syndromes Dana-Farber Cancer Inst Mack, Jennifer W
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