Expanding Clinical Trials

Collaborate to Include Comorbid Conditions in Study Samples

We study cancer in narrow cohorts, excluding comorbidities. By doing so we miss critical info that can lead to earlier identification/treatment. While we must stratify samples, we can do so and include comorbidities that lead to disease pathways.

What is the research problem

Ignoring comorbid conditions in stratifying samples may mean missing clues to development of cancer. E.g., lung cancer (BAC) can develop in pulmonary fibrosis; rarely studied together, they may have similar pathways. Studying both can yield new paths

How will your solution make a difference

Such efforts could find similar/identical pathways for development of lung cancer and fibrosis, for example, leading to more research on early ID and treatment of either or both conditions. Sharing data across NIH divisions would be cost-effective.

What is your proposed solution

The comorbid conditions may be in non-NCI divisions. NIH should convene cross-organizational committees to see intersections of relevant research and survey existing non-NCI grantees to ID prospective contributions of research data. E.g., NHLBI can share data on pulmonary fibrosis with NCI sharing data on lung cancer, or data from the National Lung Screening Trial can be mined for PF and cancer. Familial cases may yield genomes to be studied.

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Idea No. 874