Notice of NCI's Participation in PAR-20-070, "Research Infrastructure Development for Interdisciplinary Aging Studies (R21/R33 - Clinical Trial Optional)"
Notice Number:

Key Dates

Release Date:

October 19, 2021

Related Announcements

PAR-20-070 Research Infrastructure Development for Interdisciplinary Aging Studies (R21/R33 - Clinical Trial Optional)

Issued by

National Cancer Institute (NCI)


The purpose of this Notice is to inform potential applicants that the National Cancer Institute (NCI) is participating, effective immediately, in PAR-20-070, " Research Infrastructure Development for Interdisciplinary Aging Studies (R21/R33 - Clinical Trial Optional)."

Parts 1 and 2 of PAR-20-070 now contain NCI-specific information (only as shown below) to reflect NCI's participation in this funding opportunity announcement.

A. Part 1. Overview Information modified (by this Notice) to read (in italics):

Components of Participating Organizations

National Institute on Aging (NIA)

National Cancer Institute (NCI)

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number(s)

93.866; 93.393; 93.394; 93.395; 93.396; 93.399

B. Part 2. Section I. Funding Opportunity Description

Funding Opportunity Description modified (by this Notice) to read (in italics):

Scientific Focus of this FOA

Prospective applicants are strongly encouraged to contact the NCI Scientific/Research Contact listed below before applying. The NCI Scientific/Research Contact will connect prospective applicants to the NCI division, office, or center, most relevant to the application's proposed scope to ensure consistency with NCI program priorities, budgetary limits, and the goals of this FOA.

Cancer risk increases with advanced age. Cancer and cancer therapies accelerate biological and functional aging, and aging impacts treatment efficacy, clinical trial participation, cancer care delivery, and community outreach and engagement. Despite such observations, aging and cancer research are often conducted separately due to disciplinary, organizational, or fiscal obstacles that hinder the development of research infrastructures that simultaneously support cancer and aging research to advance scientific knowledge and help all people live longer, healthier lives.

By participating in this FOA, the NCI seeks applications that propose developing or scaling up a novel research infrastructure that will advance the science of cancer and aging in specific areas requiring interdisciplinary partnerships or collaborations. NCI is interested in the following topics:

The NCI Division of Cancer Biology (DCB) supports research in all areas of basic cancer biology, including those that expand current understanding of how the mechanisms responsible for fundamental cell processes are deregulated and result in cell transformation and progression to metastasis. Basic cancer research builds scientific knowledge of cancer as a disease and provides the building blocks that ultimately give rise to new clinical trials and cancer treatments. DCB is, therefore, interested in aging-associated molecular changes in the fundamental cellular processes that contribute to cancer susceptibility, progression, and metastasis. Areas of interest for cancer and aging research infrastructure development include, but are not limited to the following: understanding the role of aging in genomic instability; epigenetic deregulation and cancer; the role of aging in deregulation of proteostasis, nutrient-sensing, mitochondrial dysfunction, oxidative stress and intercellular communication in cancer development and progression; understanding the mechanisms responsible for stem cell exhaustion and cellular senescence in cancer;infrastructure forunveiling, visualizing, and analyzing age-associated molecular, cellular, and tissue-based differences and drivers in cancer development; infrastructure enabling integrated analyses of aging and cancer data; theuse of aging-relevant model systems to understand basic mechanisms of cancer biology, sex differences, and the role of gender in cancer and aging; the role of aging in response to cancer therapy and resistance; mapping age-related changes as part of Human Tumor Atlas Network (HTAN) and the influences of the aging nervous system in cancer.

The NCI Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences (DCCPS) aims to reduce cancer risk, incidence, and deaths from cancer as well as enhance the quality of life for cancer survivors. The division conducts and supports an integrated program of the highest quality genetic, epidemiological, behavioral, social, applied, healthcare delivery, and surveillance cancer research. As a dynamic interplay of biological, physiological, environmental, psychological, behavioral, and social processes, aging can be considered a cancer prevention and control hallmark. Areas of interest for cancer and aging research infrastructure development include, but are not limited to, identification or development of aging measures and biomarkers to enable the investigation of aging trajectories among cancer survivors; investigation of biological, behavioral, and psychosocial and other aging-relevant factors (e.g., age-related changes in body composition, energy balance, and health behaviors) associated with cancer risk and outcomes; development and testing of interventions to prevent, lessen, or rehabilitate aging-related consequences of cancer treatment; leveraging existing resources to address cancer survivorship and aging hypotheses; development and use of age/aging relevant and clinically-informative animal models of human cancers and treatment-related late effects; examining use of patient-reported outcomes to stratify risk, support decision-making, and optimize cancer and aging outcomes in survivors; inclusion of older adults in observational and intervention studies of cancer survivorship.

The NCI Division of Cancer Prevention (DCP) leads, supports, and promotes rigorous, innovative research and training to prevent cancer and its consequences to improve the health of all people. Areas of interest for cancer and aging research infrastructure development include, but are not limited to, development of animal models of cancer prevention; intervention studies, such as nutrition, cancer prevention interventions, vaccines, surgery and behavioral modifications; development of biomarkers for early detection and new screening technologies; development of immune-based approaches for the prevention of cancer; clinical trials focused on treatment tolerability, cancer and treatment related symptoms and toxicities in older adults including translational endpoints to enhance the mechanistic understanding of toxicities in this population; longitudinal studies to understand the trajectory and biological contributions of commonly occurring symptomatic toxicities (e.g., chemotherapy induced peripheral neuropathy, chemotherapy related cognitive impairment, and fatigue); testing of interventions to increase enrollment of older adults to NCI-sponsored clinical trials including interventions that target minority older adults, address implicit bias of older adult participation in clinical trials, and consider the older adult's perspective on participation in clinical trials, particularly those involving placebo or tissue collection; use of the geriatric assessment and other determinants of fitness in clinical trials to understand patient factors including comorbidities that contribute to treatment tolerability, guide supportive care, and predict toxicity; implementation of investigator training to conduct frailty assessment and educational programs to address clinical bias; and the development of strategies tailored to older adults that address various modes of patient reporting of toxicities in clinical research including electronic reporting.

The NCI Division of Cancer Treatment and Diagnosis (DCTD) supports a portfolio of research that focuses on the discovery and development of cancer therapies and biomarkers for cancer diagnosis to improve survival and healthspan of cancer patients.Areas of interest for research infrastructure development include, but are not limited to, identification of novel, age-related cancer targets that promote cancer progression, metastasis, or treatment response; development of novel drugs or drug combinations that improve therapeutic outcomes in age-specific subgroups, particularly that may improve long-term pediatric cancer survivorship;discovery and development of biomarkers to facilitate personalized cancer therapy; prediction of treatment toxicity and consideration of patient heterogeneity in treatment optimization for older adults; immunotherapy-based combinations for younger and older cancer patients, and developments that advance proteome and proteogenome science, and elucidate the functional biology of tumors across the lifespan through large-scale multi-omic characterizations.

The NCI Center to Reduce Cancer Health Disparities (CRCHD) leads the NCI efforts to reduce the unequal burden of cancer in our society. Cancer disparities by race/ethnicity also affect other population groups, including those defined by age, disability, sexual gender minority, geographic location, income, and education. CRCHD is committed to advanced understanding of the multifactorial causes of cancer disparities, including biological and nonbiological bases of cancer incidence and progression in aging, and by facilitating new and ongoing linkages between research, training, and outreach in cancer and aging. Areas of research infrastructure development include, but are not limited to, basic, clinical, translational, and population-based research to address cancer health disparities and aging; training students and investigators from diverse backgrounds to address cancer and aging research; and building regional networks to foster collaboration, enhance disparities research, and disseminate culturally appropriate, evidence-based information about cancer and aging to underserved communities.

A variety of activities that require interdisciplinary partnerships or collaborations may be conducted within this FOA's scientific scope, including, but not limited to the following:

  • Development of new or scale-up of extant cancer and aging research infrastructures, including those that integrate aging science into basic laboratory, clinical, prevention, control, and population-based cancer research

Pilot projects supported through awards under this FOA require NCI staff approval before the initiation of those projects. Such approval requires, but may not be limited to, documentation of an OHRP-approved Assurance and IRB approval for pilot projects involving human subjects and an adequate data and safety monitoring plan (DSMP) for pilot projects involving human interventions. Guidance on NCI's requirements for DSMPs may be found at

C. Part 2. Section VII. Agency Contacts modified (by this Notice) to read (in italics):

Scientific/Research Contact(s)

Winifred K. Rossi
National Institute on Aging (NIA)
Telephone: 301-496-3836

Jennifer Guida, Ph.D., M.P.H.,
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Telephone: 240-276-7634

Financial/Grants Management Contact(s)

Lesa McQueen, M.Sc.
National Institute on Aging (NIA)
Telephone: 301-402-7738

Crystal Wolfrey
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Telephone: 240-276-6277

NOTE: All other aspects of PAR-20-070 remain unchanged.


Please direct all inquiries to:

Jennifer Guida, Ph.D., M.P.H.
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Telephone: 240-276-7634

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