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NIH to provide $144 million for cancer nanotechnology

By Mary Mosquera
GCN Staff

The National Institutes of Health’s National Cancer Institute announced today a $144.3 million, five-year initiative to develop and apply nanotechnology to cancer research.

Nanotechnology expands the scientific advances in genomics and proteomics and builds on scientists’ understanding of the molecular underpinnings of cancer, the agency said. NIH is part of the Health and Human Services Department.

"Nanotechnology has the potential to radically increase our options for prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer," said Dr. Andrew von Eschenbach, director of the National Cancer Institute.

Nanotechnology, the development and engineering of devices so small that they are measured on a molecular scale, has already demonstrated promising results in cancer research and treatment, he said. NIH plans that the initiative, the NCI Alliance for Nanotechnology in Cancer, will integrate cancer-related nanotechnology research from public and private organizations and accelerate its application into clinical practice. It will encompass partnerships involving physicists, biologists, clinicians, engineers and other experts that can translate knowledge on cancer and nanotechnology into clinically useful products.

The National Cancer Institute will work with the National Institute of Standards and Technology to collaborate on standards and with the Food and Drug Administration to define the critical pathway for nanotechnologies to reach the clinic.