Request for Information: Epidemiology Research on Novel Infectious Agents and Cancer Occurrence and Outcomes

Notice Number: NOT-CA-16-067

Key Dates
Release Date:  August 26, 2016
Response Date: October 31, 2016  

Related Announcements

Issued by
National Cancer Institute (NCI)


The National Cancer Institute (NCI) is seeking novel insights on infectious agents associated with cancer, with a particular interest in understudied and/or previously unknown infectious agents. The purpose of this Request for Information (RFI) is to seek input, acquire information, and generate innovative ideas from members of the biomedical communities in the United States and abroad to help elucidate the scientific complexities reflecting the interplay between infectious agents and cancer occurrence and outcomes.  The RFI is part of a planning effort to identify current challenges and seek promising opportunities to set priorities and new directions for epidemiologic research in cancers linked to an infectious etiology. 


Infections are established etiologic factors in several cancers and contribute significantly to the global cancer burden. In 2008, it was estimated that 16.1% of newly diagnosed cancers were attributable to infections. The translational potential for this area of research is significant, as the identification of infections associated with cancers may lead to interventions such as treatment or vaccines to prevent associated cancer(s). Epidemiologic studies on the role of infectious agents in cancer initiation could augment current knowledge and open up new areas of research of high scientific and clinical relevance; for more details, see a blog post by NCI’s Epidemiology and Genomics Research Program at Understanding the role of infection in cancer development may result in discoveries that could lead to better diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of cancers, particularly in resource-poor areas.

Information Requested

This RFI targets scientific investigators and other members of the biomedical community (clinicians, industry representatives, patient advocates, etc.) who are interested in infectious agents and cancer epidemiology in the United States and/or worldwide.

Respondents are encouraged to provide their comments (both specific and general) on exploring the association of understudied infectious agents, including bacteria, viruses and fungi, and cancer in human populations. Examples of topics on which input is sought include the following areas:

  • Research challenges, gaps and limitations that need to be overcome in epidemiology studies in order to expand our understanding of the etiologic role(s) of infection in cancer occurrence and outcomes;
  • Recent basic science innovations, approaches and discoveries that are favorable for translation to infection-related cancer population-based research, and may be helpful in identifying intervention (vaccine candidates) and treatment targets;
  • Available resources, such as cohorts, existing data, biological data, etc., that can be used investigate the etiologic role(s) of infections in cancer occurrence and outcomes;
  • Key scientific disciplines that should be integrated with cancer epidemiology to characterize infection-driven carcinogenesis;
  • Specific approaches that could be used to characterize infection-driven carcinogenesis by the integration of epidemiologic research with multiple scientific disciplines; and
  • Comments on any additional issues relevant to this RFI that are not specifically mentioned above are also encouraged.

How to Submit a Response

Responses will be accepted through October 31, 2016. Responses should be limited to one to two page(s) and marked with this RFI identifier NOT-CA-16-067. Responses in electronic formats are preferred and can be e-mailed to

The responses are entirely voluntary and may be anonymous. If respondents are willing to do so, they may indicate the type of work setting (academia, clinical research, biomedical industry, advocacy group, etc.). No proprietary, classified, confidential, or sensitive information should be included in your response.  

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 members 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.

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 NCI.  The NCI does not intend to make any research awards on the basis of responses to this RFI or to otherwise pay for the preparation of any information submitted, or for the Government's use of such information. 


Please direct all inquiries to:

For Biospecimen-related inquiries:

Danielle Carrick, Ph.D.
National Cancer Institute
Telephone: 240-276-6749


For Epidemiology-related inquiries:

Tram Kim Lam, Ph.D.
National Cancer Institute
Telephone: 240-276-6967