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Last Updated: 05/03/24

Scientific Programs

The Cancer Diagnosis Program oversees a variety of Scientific Programs which support the overall mission of improving the diagnosis and assessment of cancer by effectively moving new scientific knowledge into clinical practice. The Cancer Diagnosis Program currently administers the following programs, where you can find more information about each program's goals and research targets.

  • Precision Medicine Trials
    The CDP has been instrumental in the implementation of two of NCI's current precision medicine trials: NCI-MATCH (Molecular Analysis for Therapy Choice) and NCI-COG Pediatric MATCH, by creating a network of laboratories that identify potentially eligible cases for the NCI-MATCH trial using centrally vetted next generation DNA sequencing assays being conducted in the context of clinical care.
  • MoCha Lab
    The CDP works closely with the MoCha Lab (Molecular Characterization Laboratory) staff at the Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research (FNLCR) as it provides instrumental support to DCTD for many initiatives.
  • Exceptional Responders
    The DCTD and CDP partnered with NCI's Center for Cancer Genomics (CCG) in the Exceptional Responders Initiative, which invited clinicians to submit cases and tumors from patients who had an exceptional response to their chemotherapy treatment (targeted or standard chemotherapy).
    The CDP and the Cancer Therapy Evaluation Program (CTEP) jointly launched the CIMAC-CIDC Network as a Cancer Moonshot℠ initiative, funded through NCI Cooperative Agreements (U24) awarded in September 2017. Since 2018, the Network has been supported by the Partnership for Accelerating Caner Therapy (PACT) via the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health (FNIH). PACT includes representatives from 12 biopharmaceutical companies. The Network was established to address the critical importance of improving management of cancer patients receiving immunotherapy by identifying biomarkers for optimizing immunotherapeutic strategies. The work of the CIMAC-CIDC Network is currently continuing with awards under RFA-CA-22-038 made in 2023.
  • Strategic Partnering to Evaluate Cancer Signatures (SPECS)
    The Strategic Partnering to Evaluate Cancer Signatures (SPECS) program consisted of multi-institutional, multidisciplinary research teams. The SPECS program leveraged NCI's investment in cancer clinical trials, cancer centers, NCI intramural programs, and the Specialized Programs of Research Excellence (SPORE) program. The projects included collaborations with biotechnology companies, community hospitals, national laboratories, and academic institutions in the United States, Canada, and Europe.
    The Trial Assigning Individualized Options for Treatment (TAILORx), a trial that grew out of a PACCT working group, tested whether a set of expressed genes that has been shown to be associated with risk of recurrence in women with node-negative, hormone receptor-positive breast cancer can be used to assign patients to the most appropriate and effective treatment.