The Translational Research Program (TRP) is the home of the SPOREs — the Specialized Programs of Research Excellence — a cornerstone of NCI’s efforts to promote collaborative, interdisciplinary translational cancer research. SPORE grants involve both basic and clinical/applied scientists and support projects that will result in new and diverse approaches to the prevention, early detection, diagnosis and treatment of human cancers.
Each SPORE is focused on a specific organ site, such as breast or lung cancer, or on a group of highly related cancers, such as gastrointestinal cancers and sarcomas. SPOREs are designed to enable the rapid and efficient movement of basic scientific findings into clinical settings, as well as to determine the biological basis for observations made in individuals with cancer or in populations at risk for cancer. SPOREs are required to reach a human end-point within the 5-year funding period. There are currently 64 active SPOREs located at academic centers in 20 states across the United States (see below). Eighteen organ sites or systems are represented in the SPORE portfolio, including: bladder, brain, breast, cervical, endometrial, gastrointestinal, head and neck, kidney, leukemia, lung, lymphoma, myeloma, ovarian, pancreatic, prostate, sarcoma, thyroid and skin cancers.
The program is open to additional organ system translational research, including research in less common cancers. The objective for all SPOREs is to reduce cancer incidence and mortality, and to improve survival and quality of life for cancer patients. SPOREs encourage the advice of patient advocates in SPORE activities.