September 6, 2022
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.
All stakeholders interested in comparative oncology are invited to provide the following types of information.
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:
Submitting a Response
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.
Toby T. Hecht, Ph.D.
National Cancer Institute (NCI)