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Last Updated: 07/31/14

Mission Statement

The Cancer Diagnosis Program strives to improve the diagnosis and assessment of cancer by effectively moving new scientific knowledge into clinical practice. This national program stimulates, coordinates and funds resources and research for the development of innovative in vitro diagnostics, novel diagnostic technologies and appropriate human specimens in order to better characterize cancers and allow improved medical decision making and evaluation of response to treatment.

The CDP is a part of the National Cancer Institute, which is part of the National Institutes of Health. We support research at medical centers, hospitals, businesses and universities throughout the United States. The CDP is not directly involved with patient care. Information for cancer patients and for health care providers about cancer diagnosis can be obtained via the NCI Home Page,

The Cancer Diagnosis Program is divided into four branches:

Biorepositories and Biospecimen Research Branch (BBRB)

  • Assesses effects of biospecimen pre-analytical factors on the quality of human biospecimens
  • Identifies the most significant pre-analytical factors for prospective collection of biospecimens
  • Develops evidence-based practices for biospecimen collection, processing and storage.

Diagnostic Biomarkers and Technology Branch (DBTB)

  • Investigator-initiated research proposals
  • Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) Grant Program
  • Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Grant Program
  • Technology development initiatives

Diagnostics Evaluation Branch (DEB)

  • Investigator-initiated research proposals
  • Cancer marker research initiatives
  • Prognostic and predictive marker development
  • Legal and ethical issues as they apply to clinical research

The Pathology Investigation and Resources Branch (PIRB)

  • NCI-supported human specimen resources
  • Human subjects regulations and policy