Request for Information (RFI): Seeking Input for the National Cancer Institute (NCI) on Expanding the Development of the Integrated Canine Data Commons
Notice Number:

Key Dates

Release Date:

September 6, 2022

Response Date:
December 01, 2022

Related Announcements


Issued by

National Cancer Institute (NCI)


The National Cancer Institute (NCI) is seeking input on future needs and directions from extramural comparative oncology investigators and those who study pet dogs with spontaneous tumors in clinical research as models for human cancer. This request for information (RFI) is part of a planning process designed to identify important current research gaps in order to guide the further development and improve the use of the Integrated Canine Data Commons, a repository of canine data and metadata established to enable scientists to seek answers and create new hypotheses in comparative oncology.


In recent years, the NCI has explored the study of pet dogs with spontaneous cancers as a model of human disease. Dogs are particularly suitable for studying cancer treatment and the development of treatment resistance since they (1) are immunocompetent and have immune checkpoints that are functionally similar to humans, (2) display tumor heterogeneity, course of disease and treatment responses similar to humans, (3) have high frequencies of cancer, particularly in certain breeds, (4) live in family environments and have similar environmental insults, potentially leading to cancer mutations, as in humans, and (5) have a shorter lifespan than humans so tumor evolution and disease progression can be studied within a shorter timeframe.

In addition, 4 years ago, the NCI initiated the development of a publicly accessible Integrated Canine Data Commons (ICDC) as a node in the Cancer Research Data Commons (CRDC). The purpose of this data commons is to act as a repository for canine cancer data including genomics (WGS and WES) and transcriptomic (RNAseq) sequences, canine clinical trials and biospecimens metadata including immunological and pharmacokinetic data, and imaging (hosted through the Imaging Data Commons) to facilitate research in comparative oncology and promote the development of new hypotheses that can elucidate human malignant disease. The ICDC currently has 33TB of data which can be accessed through a user-friendly portal that allows users to select attributes (breed, diagnosis, specimen type, study type) to build a cohort that can be exported as a manifest containing file metadata that can used to stream files from cloud storage and perform analysis within the CRDC Cloud Resources. The ICDC is linked to other nodes in the CRDC to enable interoperability and allow comparisons to human data.

Information Requested

All stakeholders interested in comparative oncology are invited to provide the following types of information.

  • For those who use the ICDC, types of important data that are lacking in the ICDC, data that were found to be useful, and hypothetical case studies using the existing data or studies that could be performed if the appropriate data were available.
  • For those who have not yet used the ICDC, significant comparative oncology questions you would like to answer but have not because access to relevant data has not been available to do so.

These examples are important for the NCI to identify important gaps in the current data or an in-depth understanding of what current data can be used for. Your responses may mention your membership or affiliation within an industry, government, academia, or veterinary practice.

NCI is seeking information and hypothetical case studies that include, but are not limited to, the following areas:

  • Comparing and contrasting the genomic features of canine and human cancers of all types;
  • Exploring molecular subtype gene expression signatures of a single cancer type that is common in both dogs and humans;
  • Identifying novel therapeutic targets in dogs with cancer that may have a human counterpart;
  • Comparing clinical response to specific cancer therapies in dogs compared to humans;
  • Comparing the microbiome in dogs and humans living in the same environment in different geographical areas (e.g., urban vs. rural);
  • Comparing basic immune responses in humans and canines;
  • Understanding therapy adverse events in dogs and humans treated with the same agent;
  • Investigating the development of treatment resistance through longitudinal biopsies of dogs with cancer;
  • Investigating the cancer neoantigen landscape using longitudinal biopsies of dogs with cancer;
  • Investigating the tumor microenvironment in dogs and humans in a specific cancer and how it changes with therapy;
  • Identifying and validating biomarker candidates for predicting response to drugs and immunotherapy agents; and
  • Understanding breed differences in susceptibility to cancer.

Submitting a Response

  • Responses will be accepted through December 1, 2022. Responses should be limited to one to two page(s) and marked with this RFI identifier "NOT-CA-22-125" in the email subject line as well as in the title of the response.
  • Responses in electronic formats should 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 the National Institutes of Health (NIH) staff members and any member of scientific working groups convened by the NCI and NIH, as appropriate.

Respondents will receive an automated e-mail confirmation acknowledging receipt of their response but will not receive any individualized feedback. 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. The NIH will use all information submitted in response to this RFI Notice at its discretion and will not provide comments on any responder’s submission. The Government reserves the right to use any submitted information in reports, in summaries of the state of the science, in any possible resultant solicitation(s), grant(s), or cooperative agreement(s), or in the development of future funding opportunity announcements.

This RFI Notice is for information and planning purposes only and should not be interpreted as a solicitation or as an obligation on the part of the Federal Government, the NCI, or NIH. No monetary awards will be made to pay for the preparation of any information submitted or for the Government’s use of such information. 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.


Please direct all inquiries to:

Toby T. Hecht, Ph.D.
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Telephone: 240-276-5683