As a result of the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), NCI participated in the “Grand Opportunities” (“GO”) Program (RFA-OD-09-004) to support research on high impact translational research by encouraging and rewarding collaborative team science. The particular opportunity, “Coordination of Clinical/Translational Research across the NCI” was an initiative issued by TRP for the benefit of the entire NCI for groups of extramural scientists with diverse expertise and original, creative ideas to work together on translational cancer research projects of significant scope and consequence that, nonetheless, could be completed within two years.
The requirements for applying were strict: applicants had to form a team with a coordinating investigator(s) and other non-coordinating investigators; two or more institutions had to be involved; members of the team had to be currently funded by different NCI funding mechanisms which could include: Cancer Centers, SPOREs, P01s, R01s, Phase 1 U01s and Phase 2 N01s (from the DCTD Cancer Therapy Evaluation Program [CTEP]), the Division of Cancer Prevention (DCP) Early Detection Research Network (EDRN), Cooperative Groups, the CTEP Clinical Trials Support Unit (CTSU), Clinical Consortia, or other NCI-supported translational research mechanisms; and the team had to perform intensive, high impact, and, if possible, paradigm-shifting studies associated with an ongoing or a new (ready to proceed) clinical trial.
Nine projects were funded covering a broad range of organ-site cancers, both common and rare. The following table shows the projects that are currently supported by the “GO” initiative and the NCI Programs/Divisions in whose portfolio the grants are managed:
|TRP/DCTD||Predicting pancreatic cancer responses for a PARP (poly [ADP-ribose] polymerase) inhibitor-based clinical trial|
|CTEP/DCTD||Targeted therapies for childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia|
|CDP/DCTD||Translation of predictive rhabdomyosarcoma biomarkers into clinical practice|
|CDP/DCTD||Refining a molecular recursive partitioning analysis model for glioblastoma|
|EDRN/DCP||Validation of a multi-gene test for lung cancer risk|
|TRP/DCTD||Biomarker prediction of Gleason upgrading in prostate cancer|
|TRP/DCTD||Proteasome/HDAC inhibition in leukemia/MDS; Phase 1 trial and correlative studies|
|DCP||Clinical evaluation of a bioadhesive gel for oral cancer chemoprevention|
|TRP/DCTD||Defining the importance of immunity to an antigen called NY-ESO-1 in melanoma therapy and prognosis|
ARRA funding also currently supports one grant application submitted in response to the NIH Director’s Opportunity for Research in Five Thematic Areas. This application entitled “YK-4-279 specifically targets ETS family fusion-protein cancers in clinical trial” was funded in FY2010.