The National Cancer Institute (NCI), part of the National Institutes of Health, today announced funding for a major component of its $104 million, five-year Clinical Proteomic Technologies Initiative for Cancer (CPTI). Awards totaling $35.5 million over five years will establish a collaborative network of five Clinical Proteomic Technology Assessment for Cancer (CPTAC) teams. Each of these teams will bring complementary expertise to assess the full spectrum of measurement technologies for proteins and peptides relevant to clinical cancer research and practice. Proteomics is the study of the structure and function of proteins, including the way they work and interact with each other inside cells; a peptide is any compound consisting of two or more amino acids, which are the building blocks of proteins.
CPTAC will guide and provide resources to the broader cancer research community. The network's collaborative efforts will enable researchers conducting cancer-related protein research at different laboratories, to use proteomic technologies and methodologies to directly compare and analyze their work. In current cancer proteomic research, standardized technologies and methodologies are critically needed in order to more effectively discover and validate proteins and peptides relevant to cancer, or "biomarkers." This should lead in turn to improved diagnostics, therapies and even prevention.
"Emerging proteomic technologies have potential to improve cancer diagnostics and treatment, but we must carefully, consistently, and systematically examine them at every major step in the measurement process, in order to realize their full potential," said NCI Director John E. Niederhuber, M.D.
CPTAC awardees were chosen based, in part, on the broad expertise of their proteomic research teams and their familiarity with and regular use of a wide range of proteomic technologies. These five CPTAC teams define a cross-institutional and multidisciplinar
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