National Cancer Institute (NCI) Initiatives for Support of Basic and Translational Tumor Stem Cell Research

Notice Number: NOT-CA-08-010

Key Dates
Release Date: February 22, 2008

Issued by
National Cancer Institute (NCI) (


The National Cancer Institute, Division of Cancer Biology, announces a new program to stimulate multidisciplinary integrative and collaborative research on all aspects of tumor stem cell biology with a strong emphasis on translational research.

The NCI intends to publish two Funding Opportunity Announcements (FOAs), both entitled “Tumor Stem Cells in Cancer Biology, Prevention, and Therapy,” which will use the NIH Research Project Grant (R01) and Program Project Grant (P01) mechanisms, respectively. A total of $5.4 million in NCI funding for R01 and P01 grants has been set aside for the first year of this program.

The purpose of this Notice is to provide an overview of the program and facilitate the investigators’ planning and choice between:

Investigators with appropriate backgrounds and capabilities are encouraged to pro-actively plan to submit applications in response to either of these RFAs.

Note: Once these RFAs are released in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts, the links provided (RFA-CA-08-019 and RFA-CA-08-020) will be active. Note that the release of the R01 RFA-CA-08-019 will precede (by at least few weeks) the release of the P01 RFA-CA-08-020.  All prospective applicants MUST read the full text of a respective RFA for specific requirements and application submission instructions.

General Scientific Objectives of the “Tumor Stem Cells in Cancer Biology, Prevention, and Therapy “ Program.
An improved understanding of the biology of tumor stem cells is expected to facilitate the development of effective preventive and therapeutic strategies. The identification of new biomarkers for improved cancer detection, diagnosis, and prognosis is also possible. The goal of this NCI program is the translation of basic research findings into clinical practice in the context of both hematological and solid tumor malignancies. Therefore, projects to be proposed for this program must comprise both basic research and translational research components (the latter could be pre-clinical or clinical in nature). To ensure integrated and translation-oriented approaches, substantive collaborative arrangements between basic and translational researchers are required. Such arrangements must provide, respectively, expertise in the biology of tumor stem cells and in translation of basic research findings into clinical practice.

To facilitate substantive collaborations, prospective R01 applicants are strongly encouraged to consider the multiple Principal Investigators (PIs) option. Prospective P01 applicants must plan to have at least one individual research project dedicated to translational aspects (matching the appropriate basic research projects).

Provided corresponding translational component is included, projects addressing diverse aspects of tumor stem cell biology will be appropriate for both R01 and P01 FOAs.

It is imperative that all prospective applicants read the full text of a respective RFA and follow instructions in preparation and submission of grant applications.

Inquiries and Further Information

Complete information about this new NCI program and all details regarding specific requirements and application process will be provided in RFA-CA-08-019 and RFA-CA-08-020 once they are published in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts. Prospective applicants are encouraged to check the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts for these announcements.

For any additional inquiries, please contact:

R. Allan Mufson, Ph.D.
Cancer Immunology/Hematology Branch
Division of Cancer Biology
National Cancer Institute
6130 Executive Boulevard, EPN Room 513, MSC 7412
Bethesda, MD 20892-7412 (for U.S. Postal Service Express or regular mail)
Rockville, MD 20852-4910 (for non-USPS delivery)
Telephone: (301) 496 7815

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