The National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the NIEHS invite applications for the development of novel image acquisition or enhancement methods, which may incorporate limited pilot or clinical feasibility evaluations using either preclinical models or clinical studies. This initiative is intended to facilitate the proof of feasibility and development of novel imaging technologies for early detection, screening, diagnosis, or image-guided treatment of cancer (NCI) and environmentally induced diseases (NIEHS), and to facilitate clinical evaluation studies of the development that are specifically limited to proof of concept. The National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering may accept assignments of grant applications that address development of novel imaging technologies that are not organ- or disease-specific.
The motivation for this program announcement (PA) is that current technologies for the molecular analysis of disease are largely restricted to in vitro methods and need to be extended to the in vivo situation. Furthermore, development of molecular probes or tracers for imaging molecular events in preclinical and clinical investigations is essential for detection of molecular changes in vivo. Development of innovative high-resolution imaging methods at the cellular or molecular scales is needed, with particular emphasis on identification and characterization of processes in the early formation of disease or early molecular changes during intervention or therapy. Integrations of these emerging molecular imaging methods with advances in traditional imaging methods are also required for more effective in vivo investigations of environmentally induced disease and cancer.
Specific emphasis of this PA is directed at 1) the development of highly innovative image acquisition and enhancement methods, including high risk/high gain research on technologies that exploit our knowledge of the molecular basis of cancer and environmentally induced diseases, and 2) the development of other novel imaging methods and the integration of these technologies with emerging molecular imaging methods, where appropriate, for more effective health care delivery. The following objectives would make appropriate topics for proposed projects. This list is not meant to be all-inclusive.
1) Imaging to detect early changes: Development of innovative high-resolution imaging methods at the cellular or molecular scales is encouraged, with a particular intent to identify and characterize premalignant abnormalities or early changes preceding the development of other diseases. Novel solutions for in vivo microscopic imaging systems or microscopic implanted devices with high spatial, contrast, and temporal resolution are encouraged. Similarly, developments of contrast enhancement methods and imaging probes are also encouraged. Proposed imaging methodologies that emphasize analysis of molecular events on the path to disease are encouraged.
2) Large-scale screening applications for cancer and environmentally induced disease: Development and optimization of efficient, low-cost imaging systems for rapid and automated large-scale screening with the intent of achieving significantly higher sensitivity and specificity for disease detection is encouraged. Applications could address significant innovative improvements …