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Biomarkers At The Crossroads

NCI's Early Detection Research Network (EDRN) 5th Annual Scientific Workshop


NCI's Early Detection Research Network (EDRN) is a consortium of investigators committed to translational research on cancer biomarkers and advancing them to clinical application.  The main goals of the consortium are to enable population cancer screening, detection of cancers at an early stage, and ultimately reduction in morbidity and mortality.  Major efforts are devoted to developing and validating cancer biomarkers and to creating the necessary infrastructure for their clinical validation.  EDRN investigators are interested in novel approaches to identify new and improve existing biomarkers and developing assays to detect pre-malignant lesions. The workshop, entitled “Biomarkers at the Crossroads” is sponsored by EDRN to facilitate dissemination of new information and to highlight accomplishments in cancer biomarkers development.  The workshop will address various aspects of cancer biomarker development, including novel technologies that led to the identification of biomarkers, discoveries that hold the promise for early detection of cancer, and hurdles in translating basic science into clinical application.  Experts in diverse fields will discuss how such wealth of information can be applied to develop biomarkers for early detection of cancer. The tentative dates and the location are March 17-19, 2008 in Bethesda, MD.

New Funding Opportunity: Biomarker Development Laboratories for the Early Detection Network: Applications Due May 23

Update: Pre-application webinar information now available.

The National Cancer Institute's Division of Cancer Prevention has released a new funding opportunity to solicit organ-specific applications for Biomarker Developmental Laboratories (BDLs), one of the four scientific units of the recently funded Early Detection Research Network (EDRN). The EDRN is a national infrastructure funded to discover, develop, and validate biomarkers for risk assessment, detection, and molecular diagnosis and prognosis of early cancer. BDLs are responsible for the discovery, development, characterization, and testing of new, or the refinement of existing, biomarkers and biomarker assays for risk assessment, detection, and molecular diagnosis and prognosis of cancers.

The existing BDLs are primarily focused on ovary and gastrointestinal cancers. The proposed BDLs (to be supported under this funding opportunity) should be focused on one or more of the following cancers: breast, prostate and other genitourinary organs, or lung. In addition, cancers with rapidly rising incidence rates, e.g., endometrial, hepatocellular, kidney, thyroid, oropharyngeal cancers, and/or cancers with unique etiology, e.g., mesothelioma, will be considered.

The newly funded units of the Early Detection Research Network will be announced later in April. Successful applicants have already been notified. Those researchers who were not successful during the last round of applications are encouraged to apply to this opportunity.