About the Cancer Biomarkers Research Group

The Cancer Biomarkers Research Group promotes research to identify, develop, and validate biological markers for early cancer detection and cancer risk assessment. Activities include development and validation of promising cancer biomarkers, collaborative databases and informatics systems, and new technologies or the refinement of existing technologies.

Early Detection Research Network

A major program of the group is the Early Detection Research Network (EDRN). EDRN is a collaborative network that maintains comprehensive infrastructure and resources critical to the discovery, development and validation of biomarkers for cancer risk and early detection. The program comprises a public/private sector consortium to accelerate the development of biomarkers that will change medical practice, ensure data reproducibility, and adapt to the changing landscape of biomarker science.

Alliance of Glycobiologists for Detection of Cancer

The group administers the Alliance of Glycobiologists for Detection of Cancer, a consortium of seven Tumor Glycomics Laboratories working to reveal cancer-related dynamics of complex carbohydrates in order to develop new, validated clinical biomarkers for early detection. Studying important biologic mechanisms, Alliance investigators focus their efforts on specific classes of glycan markers that are likely to play important roles in cancer development.

Molecular Characterization Laboratories Consortium

The NCI has awarded eight grants to create the Consortium for Molecular Characterization of Screen-Detected Lesions. The consortium has seven molecular characterization laboratories (MCLs) and a coordinating center, and is supported by the Division of Cancer Prevention and the Division of Cancer Biology. (link consortium name to News item)

The consortium focuses on a critical area in cancer science – the need to characterize molecular and cellular fe atures of screening-detected pre-cancers and early cancers, including within the tumor microenvironment. The resulting information will help to distinguish between a pre-cancer or cancer that is indolent (non-growing) versus an aggressive cancer; and to find minimally invasive methods to address the questions of how to treat a cancer found through a screening test.

Innovative Molecular Analysis Technologies (IMAT) Program

The group’s work in the Innovative Molecular Analysis Technologies (IMAT) Program encompasses an array of 12 closely related Funding Opportunity Announcements (FOAs), each of which is segregated based on program and type of funding mechanism. The IMAT Program, aimed at the development and integration of novel and emerging technologies in support of cancer research, diagnosis, and treatment, comprises three related thematic components: innovative technologies for the molecular analysis of cancer, applications of emerging technologies for cancer research, and innovations in cancer cell preparations.