Notice of Intent to Publish a Funding Opportunity Announcement for the Pediatric Immunotherapy Discovery and Development Network (PI-DDN) (U54)

Notice Number: NOT-CA-18-074

Key Dates

Release Date:May 18, 2018
Estimated Publication Date of Funding Opportunity Announcement: 07/20/2018
First Estimated Application Due Date:11/01/2018
Earliest Estimated Award Date:07/01/2019
Earliest Estimated Start Date: 08/01/2019

Related Announcements

Issued by
National Cancer Institute (NCI)


This Notice is associated with the Beau Biden Cancer MoonshotSM Initiative that is intended to accelerate cancer research. The National Cancer Institute (NCI) intends to publish a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) to solicit applications for research on pediatric immunotherapy in childhood cancers. Specifically, this will be a reissuance of an FY18 FOA RFA-CA-17-050: Pediatric Immunotherapy Discovery and Development network (PI-DDN)(U54) targeting the following area designated as a scientific priority by the Cancer Moonshot Blue Ribbon Panel (BRP): Recommendation (B) that calls for the establishment of a pediatric immunotherapy translational science network. The network was envisioned by the BRP as focusing on identifying new targets for immunotherapies, developing new pediatric immunotherapy treatment approaches (e.g., cancer vaccines, cellular therapy, combinations of immunotherapy agents, and others), and defining the biological mechanisms by which pediatric tumors evade the immune system. Through the reissuance, NCI will expand the range of research opportunities explored through the PI-DDN, a network of collaborating research teams and investigators seeking to identify and advance research opportunities for translating immunotherapy concepts for children and adolescents with cancer toward clinical applications. Increased attention to this important but understudied area of research can help overcome existing barriers to progress and pave the way to novel therapeutic approaches with increased efficacy and fewer side effects than current options. This Notice is being provided to allow potential applicants sufficient time to develop meaningful collaborations and responsive projects. The FOA is expected to be published in the Summer of 2018 with an expected application receipt date in Fall of 2018. This FOA will utilize the U54 activity code. Details of the planned FOA are provided below..

Research Initiative Details

This Notice encourages investigators with expertise in relevant immunotherapy concepts for children and adolescents with cancer to consider assembling multi-disciplinary research teams to apply to the reissued FOA. The FOA will solicit applications for PI-DDN centers that will focus on discovery of pediatric cancer immunotherapeutic targets combined with an improved understanding of the immunosuppressive tumor microenvironment in order to advance new, more effective immune-based therapeutic regimens for currently incurable pediatric cancers.

Each PI-DDN Center will include a multi-component programs to support collaborative investigator teams addressing two or more relevant synergistic areas of focus. Relevant areas of expertise that could be included are (among others) identification of antigenic epitopes that are uniquely and abundantly expressed on childhood and adolescent cancers; development of optimized highly specific binders for novel pediatric cancer immunotherapy targets; development of candidate novel immunotherapy agents; identification of cancer cell intrinsic and extrinsic mechanisms of immune evasion that limit the effectiveness of immunotherapy interventions against pediatric cancers and development and application of approaches for in vivo preclinical testing of novel immunotherapy agents, including immune competent pediatric cancer models and humanized mouse models.

Multi-institutional collaborations are strongly encouraged to achieve the breadth of expertise required for a comprehensive approach to understanding pediatric immunotherapy for children and adolescents with cancer.


Funding Information

Estimated Total Funding $3 million
Expected Number of Award s1
Estimated Award Ceiling Application budgets are anticipated to be limited to $1.5 million in direct costs per year.
Primary CFDA Numbers 93.394, 93.395, 93.396

Anticipated Eligible Organizations

Public/State Controlled Institution of Higher Education
Private Institution of Higher Education
Nonprofit with 501(c)(3) IRS Status (Other than Institution of Higher Education)
Nonprofit without 501(c)(3) IRS Status (Other than Institution of Higher Education)
Small Business
For-Profit Organization (Other than Small Business)
State Government
Indian/Native American Tribal Government (Federally Recognized)
County governments
City or township governments
Special district governments
Independent school districts
Public housing authorities/Indian housing authorities
Indian/Native American Tribally Designated Organization (Native American tribal organizations (other than Federally recognized tribal governments)
U.S. Territory or Possession
Indian/Native American Tribal Government (Other than Federally Recognized)
Regional Organization

Applications are not being solicited at this time.


Please direct all inquiries to:

Judy Mietz, Ph.D.
National Cancer Institute (NCI)

Nita Seibel, M.D.
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Telephone: 240-276-6087