Disparities in Cardio-Oncology Strategically Focused Research Network

Funding Agency:
American Heart Association

The American Heart Association (AHA) announces a Request for Applications for the Disparities in CardioOncology Strategically Focused Research Network (SFRN).

Cardio-oncology represents the intersection of cancer and cardiovascular disease. It has emerged as a new research area as a result of the evolution in cancer therapies which have improved prognosis for many cancer patients. Cardiovascular complications from cancer therapies represent an important challenge for many cancer patients, both at the time of treatment as well as during survivorship. Cancer itself can lead to cardiac disease, ranging from amyloidosis to carcinoid heart disease. While cardiomyopathy associated with traditional cancer therapies (such as anthracyclines and radiation) has been well-studied, novel targeted and immune-based therapies often lead to not only myocardial but also vascular and metabolic toxicities; the mechanisms of these toxicities or the populations at risk are less clear. In addition, emerging data suggest that common genetic and environmental risk factors can lead to both cardiovascular disease (CVD) and cancer. All of these issues have become important in 2020, as there are more than 17,000,000 Americans who are cancer survivors, representing 5% of the U.S. population. Cardiovascular disease represents a major challenge, often competing with cancer as the most common cause of death in cancer patients. It is in this environment where health disparities often contribute to differential outcomes. Well-known examples of disparities affecting health and healthcare are race/ethnicity, socio-economic status, age, geography (e.g., rural vs urban populations), language, gender, disability status, citizenship status, and sexual identity and orientation.

To address critical deficiencies related to disparities in cardio-oncology, AHA has prioritized funding research that increases the understanding of the etiology, pathophysiology, treatment and prevention of cardiovascular disease among cancer patients and cancer survivors from diverse populations. Cancer patients and/or survivors are often not included in cardiovascular studies. Understanding mechanistic underpinnings of cardiac complications, especially targeted and immune-based therapies, can lead to better diagnostic, preventive and treatment strategies. Furthermore, data describing differences in cardiovascular toxicities associated with cancer therapies are sparse.

This SFRN provides the AHA with a mechanism to advance the understanding of the causes, pathophysiology, risk factors, epidemiology, prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disease in those patients who are currently undergoing or have undergone cancer treatment (or applicable models). Applicants are requested to focus in particular on areas that have not been previously explored in cardiooncology, and must include diverse and/or underrepresented cohorts in proposed studies.

An institution may submit only one AHA strategically focused research network application for any SFRN competition.


  • Duke Internal: Interested applicants at Duke should contact Paul Noe (paul.noe@duke.edu) as early as possible.
  • Letter of Intent (Required) Deadline: Feb 9, 2021
  • Application Deadline: March 30, 2021

Agency Website

Areas of Interest

The intent of this initiative is to support a collaboration of basic, clinical and population (or implementation) researchers whose collective efforts will lead to new approaches to the study of cardiooncology. Each Center must propose two (2) or three (3) projectsrepresenting at least two of the following research disciplines: basic, clinical, and population science. All projects must focus on disparities in cardiooncology. Population studies are inclusive of projects ranging from cohort studies to translational or implementation research involving community interventions. All projects must address health and health care disparities and/or health equity in the cardio-oncology domain.

Eligibility Requirements

As a reminder, for applicants to AHA SFRN award mechanisms, the Center Director and each project PI must be an AHA Member/Partner.

NEW TO THIS FUNDING OPPORTUNITY: Institutional Partnership Policy. In keeping with AHA’s commitment to diversity and inclusion, each Center applicant must partner with at least one institution focused on educating or serving under-represented individuals. Investigators from these partnering institutions must be included in a substantive manner in the scope of the center and projects. AHA staff will review for compliance.



Amount Description

The maximum budget amount a Center applicant may request is $2,925,000. The AHA reserves the right to determine the final award amount for competitive projects based on need and potential impact.

Funding Type





Medical - Basic Science
Medical - Clinical Science
Medical - Translational
Social Sciences

External Deadline

February 9, 2021