Request for Information (RFI): Input for National Cancer Institute (NCI) Cancer Moonshot Pediatric Immunotherapy Translational Science Network Implementation Team

Notice Number: NOT-CA-17-037

Key Dates
Release Date:  March 1, 2017

Related Announcements
None

Issued by
National Cancer Institute (NCI)

Purpose

The National Cancer Institute (NCI) Cancer Moonshot Pediatric Immunotherapy Translational Science Network Implementation Team is seeking broad input and feedback from sources of expertise and interest in pediatric immunotherapy. This input is needed so that the Implementation Team can most effectively develop potential funding opportunity announcements to accelerate progress in developing strategies for successfully advancing novel pediatric immunotherapy approaches to clinical testing.

Background

The Pediatric Cancer Working Group of the NCI Cancer Moonshot Blue Ribbon Panel identified pediatric immunotherapy as a priority for acceleration of research advances for childhood cancers. There have been major advances in applying immunotherapy approaches to childhood cancers, as illustrated by the high rate of sustained complete responses in children with refractory leukemia using anti-CD19 chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) engineered T cells and by the improvement in survival for children with high-risk neuroblastoma using an anti-GD2 chimeric monoclonal antibody. However, for most patients with high-risk or refractory childhood cancers there are no effective immunotherapy options, and the immunotherapy approaches being advanced for adult cancers based on high tumor mutational burden appear to have limited relevance for most childhood cancers.

Information Requested

All stakeholders with an interest in improving the treatment of childhood cancers through the application of immunotherapy approaches are invited to provide information. Your response may mention your membership or affiliation within an industry, government, or academia.

NCI is seeking information that includes, but is not limited to, perspectives on the following areas:

  • Tools and approaches needed to develop candidate immunotherapy agents targeting proteins cited by the Pediatric Cancer Working Group of the Blue Ribbon Panel which have expression that is largely restricted to pediatric tumors (e.g., Var2, MCAM and GPC2).
  • The key rate-limiting steps that are impeding the identification of additional proteins that are uniquely and abundantly expressed on pediatric cancers and that show little or no expression in normal childhood, adolescent, and adult tissues.
  • Factors limiting the identification of cancer cell intrinsic and extrinsic mechanisms of immune evasion that might limit the effectiveness of pediatric immunotherapy interventions (e.g., CAR T-cells, bispecific antibodies, antibody-drug conjugates, etc.), and factors limiting the identification of ways of circumventing these resistance mechanisms. 
  • Types of preclinical models that will be most useful in evaluating potential immunotherapy candidate agents (e.g., CAR T-cells, bispecific antibodies, antibody-drug conjugates, etc.) and how such models can be used for the testing of candidate pediatric immunotherapy agents alone and in combination.
  • Essential proficiencies that need to be included in collaborative research teams so that progress can be made in identifying novel pediatric immunotherapy treatments.
  • New tools and technologies not currently being applied in a significant manner in pediatric immunotherapy research that may provide important leads in identifying novel ways of applying pediatric immunotherapy principles to the treatment of childhood cancers. 

Submitting a Response

All responses must be submitted to  pedsimmunotherapy@mail.nih.gov by May 1, 2017, but responses are requested by March 24, 2017 when possible. Please include the Notice number in the subject line. Response to this RFI is voluntary. Responders are free to address any or all of the categories listed above. Please do not include any proprietary, classified, confidential, or sensitive information 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.

The NIH will use the information submitted in response to this RFI at its discretion and will not provide comments to any responder's submission. The collected information will be reviewed by NIH staff, may appear in reports, and may be shared publicly on an NIH website.

The Government reserves the right to use any non-proprietary technical information in summaries of the state of the science, and any resultant solicitation(s). The NIH may use the information gathered by this RFI to inform the development of future funding opportunity announcements.

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), or individual NIH Institutes and Centers. No basis for claims against the U.S. Government shall arise as a result of a response to this request for information or from the Government’s use of such information.

Inquiries

Please direct all inquiries to:

Nita Seibel, M.D.
National Cancer Institute
Telephone: (240) 276-6078
Email: seibelnl@mail.nih.gov

Judith Mietz, Ph.D.
National Cancer Institute
Telephone: 240-276-6250
Email: mietzj@mail.nih.gov