BETHESDA, MdThe National Cancer Institute-sponsored Early Detection Research Network has issued 13 grants totaling $18 million to complete its first year of funding. Last fall, NCI awarded $8 million to set up the networks initial operations18 biomarker development laboratories. The new grants will finance the establishment of the programs other three components: clinical and epidemiologic centers, biomarker validation laboratories, and a data management and coordinating center.
The aim of the network is to unite dozens of research institutions in efforts to search for and evaluate new ways to test for early cancer and for cancer risk.
Advances in cancer genetics, protein analysis, and other fields offer potential new biomarkers that one day may reduce the burden of cancer, said Sudhir Srivastava, PhD, MPH, chief of the cancer biomarkers research group in NCIs Division of Cancer Prevention. But before they can move from the lab to the clinic, these biomarkers need to be tested systematically. Pooling resources and expertise is vital to this kind of validation.
The new grants will finance:
Nine clinical and epidemiologic centers that will provide the network with blood, tissue, and other biological samples, as well as medical information on families with a history of cancer, for use in a large-scale evaluation of cancer biomarkers.
Three biomarker validation laboratories, which will standardize biomarker tests, assure their reproducibility, and ready the best tests for clinical trials.
A data management and coordination center to develop standards for data reporting and research new statistical methods for analyzing biomarkers.