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Last Updated: 11/9/12

Funding Opportunities

Request for Applications on Botanical Supplements Released

pa-09-130 grant
PA-09-130 invites applications on nutrition research

Cancer patients and survivors use complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) approaches extensively. In March 2009, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCIH) released Program Announcement (PA) PA-09-130, titled “Exploratory Grants for Behavioral Research in Cancer Control (R21).” In this PA’s invitation for applications, developmental and formative behavioral research in cancer prevention and control, including investigations of CAM therapies, are requested.

This PA includes and incorporates research interests in CAM topics such as physical activity and nutrition, as well as mind-body practices, manipulative and body-based interventions, and approaches derived from traditional medical systems, which may improve the quality of life of cancer patients and survivors. Nutrition and physical activity as keys to an energy balance strategy play an important role in the prevention of the initiation, promotion, and progression of cancer.

Approaches of interest include the development of outcomes measurements and instruments relevant to adherence, efficacy and effectiveness of integrative practices in relevant groups, as well as pilot studies to optimize such interventions for subsequent, more extensive clinical studies. Such pilot studies may include optimization of dose or treatment schedule, as well as the development of feasible and meaningful control conditions.

This PA will support research to:

  • Refine current theoretical mechanisms of behavior change as well as focus on developing new models to examine and explain key factors that specifically influence diet and physical activity behaviors.
  • Explain how individuals and groups maintain healthy behaviors and support study of the interplay of multiple health behaviors that may exist such as between sleep and physical activity, diet, and obesity.
  • Clarify the relative contribution of sedentary lifestyle and fitness as distinct from physical activity effects on health promotion and cancer. Applications that focus on the relationship between genotypes and health behaviors, specifically as it relates to food preferences and physical activity are encouraged.
  • Examine if existing diet and physical activity measures are appropriate for minority, low-literacy, and/or high-risk populations.

For more information, please review the following announcement: or Dr. Sabra Woolley at

Examining the Effect of Dietary Components on Natural Killer Cells

In April 2008, NCI published the Program Announcement (PA) PA-08-132, “Enhancing Tumoricidal Activity of Natural Killer (NK) Cells by Dietary Components for Cancer Prevention (R01)”. The aim of this PA is to stimulate research efforts aimed at establishing the physiological significance of dietary components in regulating the tumoricidal cell activity of natural killer (NK) cells for cancer prevention.

Research projects proposed in response to this funding announcement should focus on defining the minimum quantity and duration of exposure to specific dietary components to change tumoricidal activity of NK cells for cancer prevention and the underlying mechanism(s) accounting for this response.

Proposed projects must include animal and/or human investigations to be considered responsive to this announcement. In vitro models can be used only to support in vivo studies, and therefore, should not constitute the primary focus of the application.

Molecular targets for food components may be examined at the sites of:

  1. The tumoricidal cell receptors and cancer cell specific ligands;
  2. The release of tumoricidal cytokines such as IFN-g; and
  3. The release of lytic granules such as granulysin, perforin, and serine proteases (granzymes).

Researchers are encouraged to contact Program Director Young S. Kim, Ph.D., at the Division of Cancer Prevention; she can be reached at OCCAM also welcomes questions regarding funding opportunities. Please contact Research Development and Support Program Director Dr. Isis Mikhail at

For more information about this PA, please visit:

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