Sponsor Deadline
Posted: 11/22/2023

Notice of Special Interest (NOSI): Early-life Factors and Cancer Development Later in Life

The purpose of this Notice of Special Interest (NOSI) is to stimulate research focused on the roles of early-life factors (maternal-paternal, in utero, birth and infancy, puberty, adolescence, and young adult years) in cancer development later in life.

Given that current emerging evidence from limited research indicates a potentially important role for early-life events and exposures in cancer development, it is necessary to better understand:

1) The early-life factors that are associated with later cancer development;

2) How early-life factors mediate biological processes relevant to carcinogenesis; and

3) Whether predictive markers for cancer risk based on what happens at early life can be measured and developed for use in cancer prevention strategies. Markers that predict malignancy or pre-malignant conditions would allow assessment of early-life exposures with relevant outcomes without having to wait decades for cancer development.

Ultimately, a better understanding of early-life events and exposures, and the risk for cancer later in life may lead to the development of effective interventions as early as during pregnancy or starting early in the life course that may have a profound impact on cancer prevention.

Studies proposed in response to this NOSI should focus on human studies, but may incorporate research using animal models, especially in elucidating mechanisms relevant in humans. Human studies can be new, but applicants are encouraged to take advantage of existing resources such as from case-control and prospective studies, including birth cohort studies, and existing databases to utilize data and biological specimens to test hypotheses.

NCI recognizes the needs to support research focused on early-life factors and cancer development in humans because this is an area of research that remains highly understudied, but has the potential to be transformative in terms of cancer prevention and intervention strategies, earlier in life as opposed to the current practice.

If interested in this opportunity, Duke investigators should contact:

Cinthia E. Sanchez, Ph.D. (cinthia.sanchez@duke.edu), CTSA Program Director, Duke Clinical & Translational Science Institute (CTSI) 


Expiration Date: March 08, 2024

Funding Type