NCI Announces Opportunity for Interested Investigators to Propose Candidate Biomarkers of Mesothelioma for Validation in a Unique Human Cohort and to Participate in a Working Group Meeting

Notice Number: NOT-CA-09-025

Key Dates
Release Date: May 13, 2009

Issued by
National Cancer Institute (NCI), (


The National Cancer Institute’s Early Detection Research Network (EDRN) ( is soliciting input from investigators on potential biomarkers for the early detection and diagnosis of mesothelioma that can be validated in a large prospective cohort of subjects to be assembled in the near future (see details under “Background”).  As part of the planning, the purpose of this Notice is to ask investigators to propose candidate biomarkers for use in such a study.

Interested investigators who propose biomarkers of sufficient relevance and merit may be invited to attend an EDRN Mesothelioma Biomarker Working Group meeting to present their evidence and arguments (including both strengths and weaknesses) in support of candidate biomarker(s) on September 3, 2009.  This working group meeting will be held in conjunction with the EDRN’s 6th Annual Workshop that will occur from August 31 through September 3, 2009.


An epidemic of mesothelioma has been found among residents from three villages of the Cappadocia region of Turkey where this disease accounts for as high as 50% of the all deaths among this population (Nat. Rev. Cancer, 2007 Feb; 7(2):147-54).  It is believed the high incidence of mesothelioma in the residents is due to the presence and inhalation of erionite mineral fibers that are found within the rock of these mountains, which has long been used to construct the local houses and buildings.  This unique population affords researchers an excellent opportunity to examine biomarkers for mesothelioma in humans prior to onset of that disease.  Therefore, the NCI is considering supporting an effort to validate mesothelioma biomarkers in a prospective, longitudinal study of volunteer subjects in this unique Turkish population.  Currently, the plans include the examination of two biomarkers, serum mesothelin-related protein (SMRP]) and osteopontin.

Due to the unique opportunity that the planned study presents for preclinical detection of mesothelioma, the NCI invites investigators who are not currently associated with the EDRN to propose additional biomarkers that they would like to have examined and analyzed in this cohort.  The diagnostic efficacy of any proposed biomarker would need to be demonstrated.  Biomarkers that show elevations at early stages of disease are of particular interest.  Proposed biomarkers must fulfill the Phase II criteria for biomarker validation as described in JNCI 93(14):1054-1061 and JNCI 100(20): 1432-1438.


Please submit any information about candidate biomarkers (and make inquiries regarding possible participation in the working group meeting) to Dr. Srivastava at the address shown below at least 1 month prior to the working group meeting date.

Sudhir Srivastava, Ph.D., M.P.H.
Chief, Cancer Biomarkers Research Group
Division of Cancer Prevention
National Cancer Institute
6130 Executive Boulevard, EPN Suite 3147, MSC 7362
Bethesda, MD 20892-7362
Telephone: (301) 594-1044
FAX: (301) 402-8990
Email: or

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