About CAP-IT

Why was CAP-IT created?

While much progress has been made in the development of new or improved methods of determining cancer risk and detecting and monitoring emerging precancer, current approaches for cancer risk reduction are still centered on surgical procedures. With the increasing knowledge of early drivers of the oncogenic process, reduction in cancer mortality can be significantly improved if oncogenic pathway-targeted interventions are successfully deployed to further mitigate cancer risk and better manage precancer especially in higher-risk populations. Because higher-risk populations represent a diverse group of individuals with different genetic susceptibilities, varying histories of exposure to carcinogens, different lifestyles, age, gender, and the presence of other comorbidities, it is nearly impossible to find and deliver universally efficacious cancer preventive interventions in this heterogenous population. A more rational approach to cancer prevention and interception in higher-risk cohorts is to employ preventive measures specifically tailored for individual risk factors, an approach referred to as precision cancer prevention-interception. Success of precision cancer prevention-interception depends on two complementary steps. First, higher-risk individuals need to be identified, e.g., through screening and early detection of precursor/precancers, some of which may progress to cancer, and testing for genetic susceptibility. Second, innovative, safe, and efficacious measures designed to reduce cancer risk or molecularly/immunologically intercept, arrest, and possibly eliminate precancer in these higher-risk individuals are needed to complement or replace surgical resection or ablation. However, because very few target-specific agents are available for these higher-risk individuals, current cancer interception strategies predominantly rely on surgical interventions. It is this gap in discovering and bringing risk-tailored targeted agents to the higher-risk populations for cancer prevention and interception that CAP-IT was created and will address.

CAP-IT establishes a new discovery research paradigm in cancer prevention that leverages the potential oncotarget leads identified from precancer biology research and related databases and exploits their oncogenic characteristics and vulnerabilities to discover innovative cancer prevention-interception agents especially focusing on higher-risk populations. The ultimate goals of CAP-IT are to advance newly discovered efficacious cancer preventive or interceptive agents to the existing NCI, Division of Cancer Prevention preclinical and clinical development pipelines, PREVENT Program for further development towards IND and Cancer Prevention Clinical Trials Network (CP-CTNet) for early phase clinical trials, and thereby to establish a scientific roadmap and a more streamlined foundational infrastructure for fast-tracking agent discovery and development for cancer prevention and interception from bench to bedside.

Main Objectives

  • To identify and functionally validate targets that can be potentially exploited for cancer preventive or interceptive interventions specifically in higher-risk populations, by collaborating with the NCI and other programs with a research focus on molecular profiling of established precursor/precancer, early cancer, and/or oncogenic signaling pathways. The potentially exploitable cancer preventive or interceptive targets include oncogenic molecular targets and pathways, tumor immune targets, and tumor-specific/tumor-associated antigens;
  • To functionally validate the critical roles of the high-value oncotargets in tumor initiation and/or progression to invasive cancer and select oncotargets suitable for targeted intervention strategies; and
  • To discover innovative targeted agents through in vitro and in vivo efficacy evaluation and advance promising efficacious agents to the NCI's existing R&D pipeline (PREVENT and CP-CTNet) for further development.

2021 CAP-IT Webinar

NCI held a webinar for the first round CAP-IT FOAs on August 16th, 2021. Details for the webinar are available in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts, NOT-CA-21-097.

The recording of the webinar and answers to submitted questions are posted below for those who were not able to attend.

Runtime: 00:42:04

View the CAP-IT Q&As

If you need assistance accessing the pre-application webinar, please contact our Webmaster.