Request for Information (RFI): U. S.-China Collaborative Cancer Research in Complementary and Alternative Medicine

Notice Number: NOT-CA-12-009

Key Dates

Release Date:  January 11, 2012
Responses: Responses will be accepted through March 1, 2012.

Issued by

National Cancer Institute (NCI)


The purpose of this Request for Information (RFI) is to gain feedback, comments, and novel ideas from the members of scientific communities in the United States (U.S.) and abroad as well as from persons representing other segments of American public on the potential benefits, optimal directions, and efficient implementation of collaborations between researchers in the U.S. and China that would focus on cancer and cancer-related research in Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM).

This RFI is for information and planning purposes only and should not be construed as a solicitation or as an obligation on the part of the Federal Government, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and/or the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The NCI does not intend to make any awards based on responses to this RFI or to otherwise pay for the preparation of any information submitted or for the Government's use of such information.


The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) of the United States of America and The Ministry of Health of the People’s Republic of China (MOH) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in 2008 recognizing the value of working together to advance the scientific discipline of integrative and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) medical research for achieving optimal health and healing with mutual interests and goals.  TCM is a medical system that originated in China thousands of years ago that uses a holistic approach to patient care.  The U.S.-China intergovernmental MOU reflected the mutual acceptance by the two governments of the benefits of collaboration between scientists and healthcare practitioners from the two countries for improving the health of American and Chinese people.  The following areas were identified as particularly important for potential research collaborations relevant to cancer:

(1) Basic and clinical research on acupuncture in the context of benefits to cancer patients;

(2) Basic and clinical research on the safety and efficacy of Chinese herbal remedies and the development of optimal methodologies for quality control/quality assurance in manufacturing these remedies;

(3) Improved approaches and methodologies for research and development involving:

It is believed that international research collaborations between U.S. and Chinese scientists can enhance cancer research by bridging research methodologies, medicine theories, knowledge, experience, and resources of both countries. Ultimately, such joint endeavors are expected to make significant contributions to many critical issues faced by global cancer care today.

Information Requested

Through this RFI, the NCI seeks feedback and information relevant to a collaborative program between U.S. and China on cancer research related to CAM/TCM. Any information is welcome that may help NCI to better understand and anticipate the needs, possible and optimal approaches, benefits, limitations, etc. The responses to this RFI will be taken into consideration by Office of Cancer Complementary and Alternative Medicine at NCI in developing and shaping a respective future program for U.S.-China collaborative research.

Respondents are asked to briefly address the following aspects:

(1) Cancer-relevant areas in complementary and alternative medicine with the greatest appropriateness and potential for both enhancing U.S.-China collaboration and advancing science, medicine, and human health;

(2) Additional cancer-relevant research areas beyond those included in the list of areas of mutual interest for U.S. and China collaboration (shown above);

(3) Examples/models of successful U.S.-China collaborations in the area of TCM or CAM-cancer research (identify the key factors that made those collaborations successful);

(4) The research infrastructure and proper international governance structures needed for optimal conduct of the U.S. and China collaborative CAM-cancer research;

(5) The major concerns and barriers which may affect the collaborative CAM-cancer research between U.S. and China and the practical and effective approaches to overcome those barriers; and

(6) Any other issues that the NCI should consider in developing a program for collaborative CAM-cancer research involving investigators in the U.S. and China.

Responses will be accepted through March 1, 2012.       

Note: Do not include any proprietary or confidential information.

If you are willing to do so, please indicate your primary affiliation/role from the categories listed below:

How to Submit a Response

Responses will be accepted through March 1, 2012. Responses should be limited to one to two page(s) and marked with this RFI identifier NOT-CA-12-009. Responses in electronic formats are preferred and can be e-mailed to

All individual responses will remain confidential. Any identifiers (e.g., names, institutions, e-mail addresses, etc.) will be removed when responses are compiled. Only the processed, anonymized results will be shared internally with NIH staff members and any member of scientific working groups convened by the NCI, as appropriate.

Respondents will receive an automated e-mail confirmation acknowledging receipt of their response but will not receive any individualized feedback.


Inquiries regarding this RFI should be directed to:

Dan Xi, Ph.D.
Program Director
Office of Cancer Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Division of Cancer Treatment and Diagnosis
National Cancer Institute, NIH
6116 Executive Blvd., Suite 609
Bethesda, MD 20892
Phone: 301-594-9983
Fax: 301-480-0075

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