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Middle East Cancer Consortium

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This site is hosted by the National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, MD, USA.

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The MECC Small Grants Program involved limited funds (up to U.S. $15,000 per year per individual principal investigator) to support project-based efforts of up to two-year’s duration. Proposals involved investigators only from the five MECC signatories. A single application could request up to U.S. $15,000 for each principal investigator per annum -- one Principal Investigator per each eligible signatory. That is, for example, if a joint application is received from 3 principal investigators representing three signatories, the total budget request for the first year could be up to U.S. $45,000. The duration of an individual project could last up to two years.

These awards covered direct costs incurred in the conduct of the project only. No overhead or indirect costs were allowed.

The time period covered by the grant was determined by the study design of the proposed or ongoing project.

Applicants were responsible for all facets of the proposed project, including the planning, direction, and execution of the proposed work. The chances of success in obtaining an award depended on the number of applications submitted and their overall merit and cost. Renewal applications were considered for successful grantees, dependent on the availability of funds.

[Note: the description of procedures below are historical, and do not reflect availability of SGP funding.]


Applications should be received by the date specified in the Call for applications.

Applications must be received by the NCI office by the close of business on the due date. This uniform policy is designed to be fair to all applicants and to enable the review and award process to proceed with minimal delays, thus resulting in the earliest possible award dates (see Section V: Anticipated Schedule for Review and Award). For these reasons, it is important to allow enough time for the application delivery system that you select.

Receipt of applications in the MECC office will be acknowledged by postcard or e-mail.

No official application form is required, although a sample layout for the face page is included with this announcement. Applications must be typed in English and legible. All page limitations listed in this announcement (for example, a limitation of two pages per biographical sketch) refer to single typed pages.

The purpose of the application is to make clear to the MECC what it is that is being requested, who will actually be involved in the project, how the project will be conducted, monitored and evaluated; and what research question is being proposed. A group of experts will evaluate each application for scientific merit against a set of standard review criteria indicated below. The application should be written in a way that makes clear to the reviewers how those criteria will be met.

In place of a standard application form, refer to sections 1-4 below for required information to be included in the application.


  • Title of the proposed study (25 words or less)
  • Names, titles and affiliations of principal investigator(s)
  • Telephone and Fax numbers; e-mail address of principal investigator(s) if available
  • Proposed project period (give start date and end date for requested funding)
  • Site(s) of the proposed project
  • Original signatures of principal investigators. Multiple face pages may be submitted (one or each original signature) if this will facilitate transmission
  • Name of person to notify in case of award (if different from principal investigators)
  • Total requested budget (in U.S. Dollars)

2. REQUESTED BUDGET (UP TO ONE PAGE) - Itemize the requested budget by:

List of individuals to be supported either in whole or in part, through the proposed grant.
Include consultants by name and affiliation

Do not itemize items which are below U.S. $1,000 in cost

List all other expenses such as travel, equipment maintenance, photocopying etc. for
which funds are requested.
Note that the adequacy of the proposed budget to actually cover the costs of the proposed infrastructure or research project will be evaluated in the review of this application (see Review Considerations). If the proposed project will utilize additional resources which are not requested in the application, please indicate them so the reviewers will be able to
understand if the resources are adequate to accomplish what is proposed.


Provide a brief statement to document the academic background, training, and relevant professional experience of each investigator. This is requested to evaluate the ability of the key investigators to undertake, supervise and report on the proposed project. Note that information in this section is critical since the competence of the principal investigator(s) to undertake the proposed project will be evaluated as part of the review process (see Review Considerations).

Include for each key investigator:

  • Name
  • Title, academic degrees including where granted, name and year
  • Current institutional affiliation (employer)
  • Brief summary of research experience. You may provide a narrative of your relevant professional experience that would document your ability to conduct the proposed project, and cite any publications of your own here. Please follow the format of this sample reference:
    Aamad, O. and Weisman, A. (1966). An inhibitor of protein kinase activity. Nature 212, 20-210.
  • References: In addition to information about yourself, list the name, full address, telephone number, Fax and E-mail address (if any) of three (3) individuals who are acquainted with your profession training or work who could be contacted as a reference.


When the application is reviewed (evaluated) for scientific merit, the major focus of the review will be on quality of the proposed project, the qualifications and experience of the investigators and the relevance to the goals of the MECC program. To assess the quality of the proposed project, the reviewers must clearly understand the nature of the work, its importance as you see it to cancer research, the rationale for the proposed time frame and resources, and goals at specific time points within the project period.

This section of the grant application provides you the opportunity to present the importance and feasibility of the proposed research and to demonstrate how you will approach the actual research. For example, explain what is expected at key points in the project, and describe how the design will be modified if the early results are not as expected. Explain what you expect to be accomplished by the conclusion of the project, and how results will be disseminated.

The reviewers will be aware that you are limited to a four page research plan, and they will account for it in the evaluation of the proposed research. This section, therefore, should be concise yet clear, with the following information included:

  • Specific aims
  • Significance - how the proposed project will contribute to meeting the goals of the MECC
  • Preliminary Data - this item may not apply if the proposed project is a feasibility study
  • General methods that will be utilized - consider including a letter of support from any additional collaborators who are being asked to provide expert help of key materials/reagents for the conduct of the research
  • Description of available resources
  • Literature Cited - in one page or less, give the most relevant literature citations including title of each article that would support the goals and approach of your proposed project. Please use the literature cited format sample presented in the Biographical Sketch section of this announcement.


Grant applications will be reviewed via a two-tiered process: the first will involve a review system where experts (peers) in the same fields of research as proposed in the application will evaluate the scientific merit of these applications; the second tier will be consideration of those recommendations by the Board of Governors for approval and funding. The two tiers are described further below.

  1. TIER 1: Peer Review will be the responsibility of the Division of Extramural Affairs (DEA) of the U.S. National Cancer Institute, in accordance with established procedures for mail review. The peer review will assess: the significance and feasibility of the proposed project, its quality, the importance to cancer research and the goals of the MECC program, the ability and experience of the principal investigator(s) to undertake the proposed project, and the adequacy and appropriateness of the proposed budget.
  2. Please be aware that the application should not include a tutorial on the area to be investigated. Instead, the application should be written at the same scientific and technical levels as in a scientific presentation to peers within the proposed area of research. The application must make clear the relevance to the goals of the MECC program.

  3. TIER 2: The Board of Governors will review the recommendations of the peer review process for each grant cycle and establish the actual awards based upon the peer review recommendations, policy priorities of the Board, distribution of awards among all the MECC participant countries, and the financial resources made available to this call of proposals by the Board.
  4. All applicants will be notified by the MECC. A written summary statement of the conclusions of the peer review will be provided to each applicant.


    The progress report for year 1 should describe the main findings obtained. Reprints, preprints of manuscripts wherein MECC support is acknowledged are accepted as a progress report. Abstracts of presentations in national and/or international meetings, conferences, workshops are also accepted. An important issue to be included in the progress report relates to the mode of cooperation between the researchers. The progress report should be accompanied by a financial report, describing the use of funds in year 1, and authorized by the researcher's research authority or the institute's administration. When the principle investigators wish to extend the research for a second year, the first year's progress report (including the financial report) should be accompanied by an explicit request for renewal of the research for year 2. Such a request should include a description of the working plan for the second year of the research as well as a detailed budget request.

    By the end of year 2, the progress report should summarize 2 years of activity. Any published material is accepted to that aim. If the findings have not been published the researchers should provide a detailed description of the results and findings. A financial report for year 2 should accompany the above progress report.


    Principal Investigator(s) & Country of Origin

    Title of Proposal


    A. Savva (Cyprus)

    K. Arlitsch (USA)

    Creation of an internet-based information infrastructure for cancer research in Cyprus

    Nicosia General Hospital Cyprus

    J. Cohen (Israel)

    Application of MRI  for the localization of photodynamic therapy

    Chaim Sheba Medical Center
    Tel Hashomer, Israel

    V. Neocleous (Cyprus)

    Oncogene gene expression in UVR skin fibroblasts and Keratinocytes

    Centre for Biomedical Sciences
    Nicosia, Cyprus

    C. Deltas (Cyprus)

    Development of methodology for early and efficient presymptomatic detection of molecular tumor markers

    Cyprus Institute of Neurology and Genetics Nicosia, Cyprus

    S. Mordechai (Israel)

    Diagnosis of tissue abnormalities using optical fiber based methods

    Ben Gurion University

    J. Mahajna (Israel)

    M. Ali-Shtayeh (Palestinian Authority)

    Medicinal plants as a source of therapeutics for the treatment of hormone-refractory prostate cancer

    R&D Regional Center
    The Galilee Society, Israel

    Al-Najah National University
    Nablus, West Bank

    E.  Friedman

    K. Kyriacou (Cyprus)

    Z. Abdeen
    (Palestinian Authority)

    A. Adamou (Cyprus)

    Characterization of the mutational spectrum in BCRA genes in individuals of high risk for developing breast and ovarian cancer in the Mediterranean region

    Tel Hashomer

    Nicosia Institute of Neurology & Genetics

    Al-Quds University

     Nicosia General Hospital

    Z. Kraim (Israel)

    Metalloproteinase gene expression and activity in neoplastic and non-neoplastic human thyroid cells

    Carmel Medical Center Haifa

    Y. Assaraf (Israel)

    An SSCP-based clinical assay for the identification of mutations in the reduced folate carrier gene

    Department of Biology Technion, Haifa

    I. Roisman (Israel)

    R. Coleman (Israel)

    J. Zidan (Israel)

    Investigation of hereditary breast and ovarian cancer in Israel

    Faculty of Medicine Technion, Haifa

    Safed Hospital

    S. Merchav (Israel)

    Naturally-occurring STAT isoforms in normal and leukemic myeloid progenitors

    Faculty of Medicine Technion, Haifa

    C. Benayahu

    Bone and tumors, from cell biology to diagnosis

    Faculty of Medicine
    Tel Aviv University

    Y. Assaraf

    Molecular cloning of a folate exporter gene associated with a novel resistance to antifolate anticancer drugs

    Faculty of Biology
    Technion, Haifa

    E. Kahan

    K. El-Najjar
    (Palestinian Authority)

    Primary care physicians’ knowledge and attitudes related to the prevention and control of cancer collaboration between Israel and Palestine

    Rabin Medical Center
    Petah Tikvah

    MoH, Gaza

    I. Vlodarsky

    S. Ayesh
    (Palestinian Authority)

    Heparanase gene expression and involvement in tumor metastasis and angiogenesis

    Hadassah Medical Center Jerusalem

    Makassed Islamic Charitable Hospital, Jerusalem

    S. Slavin (Israel)

    H. Alian
    (Palestinian Authority)

    Innovative and cost-effective immunologic interventions for the treatment of blood cancer in children

    Hadassah Medical Center Jerusalem

    Bet Jalla Hospital
    West Bank, Palestinian National Authority

    Jacob Bar-tana (Israel)

    Rachel Hertz (Israel)

    Nabeel Hahas (Palestinian Authority)

    Suppression of tumor development by (ω-3) polyunsaturated fatty acids Israel


    Department of Human Nutrition,
    Hadassah Medical School

    Al-Quds University

    Ephrat Levy-Lahad (Israel)

    Samir Al-Kayed (Jordan)

    Elias Awad (Palestinian Authority)

    Genetics of Breast Cancer in Arab Middle Eastern Populatinos

    Medical Genetics Unit,
    Shaare Zedek Hospital

    Department of Radiotherapy,
    Al-Bashir Hospital
    Amman, Jordan

    Department of Oncology,
    Beit Jala Hospital

    Rachel Bar-Shavit (Israel)

    Beatrice Uziely (Israel)

    Mahjer Sughayer (Palestinian Authority)

    The Role of Protease Activated Receptor (PAR) Family in Tumor Invasion and Metastasis Israel

    Department of Oncology,
    Hadassah Hospital

    Department of Pathology,
    Makkassed Hospital
    Mount of Olives

    Vasilios Tanos (Cyprus)

    Froso Iacovou (Cyprus)

    Demetrakis Christodoulides (Cyprus)

    Constantinos Pattichis (Cyprus)

    Gynecological Cancer Diagnostic Telepathology and Teleconsultation Network

    Ban of Nicosia
    Oncology Center

    Department of Histopathology,
    Nicosia General Hospital

    Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology,
    Paphos General Hospital

    Department of Computer Sciences,
    University of Cyprus Nicosia

    Amr Soliman (Egypt)

    Tareq Al-Jaberi (Jordan)

    Khamis El-Najjar (Palestinian Authority)

    A population-based study of colorectal cancer in Egypt, Jordan, and Palestine: Exploring the Early-Onset Disease

    Faculty of Medicine

    Department of Surgery, Jordan University
    Amman, Jordan

    Department of Hematology-Oncology,
    Shifa Hospital, Gaza

    Daniel Wreschner (Israel)

    Pavlos Neophytou (Cyprus)

    Changes in Gene Expression Elicited by Activation of the Breast Cancer Associated MUC1/Y Receptor Protein

    Department of Cell Research & Immunology
    Tel Aviv

    Mendel Center for Biomedical Sciences Nicosia, Cyprus

    Jamal Mahajna (Israel)

    Hussam Massalha (Palestinian Authority)

    Natural Products as Sensitizers of Chemoresistant Tumour Cells

    Galilee R&D Society Eilaboun, Israel

    Department of Life Sciences,
    Al-Quds University
    Abu Dies

    Nathan Cherny (Israel)

    Bassam Al-Hijawi (Jordan)

    Mahmoud Iliam (Palestinian Authority)

    Michael Boyiadzis (Cyprus)

    Middle East Collaborative Cancer Pain Survey

    Department of Medical Oncology,
    Shaare Zedek Hospital

    Cancer Registry
    Ministry of Health

    Department of Oncology, Beit Jala Hospital Bethlehem

    Cancer Registry,
    Ministry of Health
    Nicosia, Cyprus

    Morris Srebnik (Israel)

    Reuven Reich (Israel)

    The Design and Evaluation of C1 Bridged Phosphono-boronates as Matrix Metalloproteinase-2 Inhibitors Israel

    Department of Natural Products,
    Hebrew University Jerusalem

    Joav Horn (Israel)

    Abdel Razzaq Salhab (Palestinian Authority)

    Bassam Al-Hijawi (Jordan)

    Breast Cancer Risk Factors among Different Ethnic Groups

    Department of Oncology, Assaf Harofe

    Department of Oncology, Beit Jala Hospital Bethlehem

    Cancer Registry,
    Ministry of Health
    Amman, Jordan

    Esther Granot (Israel)

    Arnon Nagler (Israel)

    The effect of an ω-3 fatty acid enriched diet on chronic graft-versus-host disease of the liver Israel

    Department of Pediatrics, Hadassah Hospital Jerusalem

    Department of Bone Marrow Transplantation, Hadassah Hospital Jerusalem

    Tamar Peretz (Israel)

    Aviram Nissan (Israel)

    Ram Spira (Israel)

    Mahmoud Badriyah (Israel)

    Screening for BRCA-1 and BRCA-2 mutations in Palestinian women with breast cancer

    Department of Oncology, Hadassah Hospital
    Ein Kerem, Jerusalem

    Department of Surgery, Hadassah Hospital
    Mount Scopus, Jerusalem

    Reuven Reich (Israel)

    Breast Cancer and Transcription Factor AP-2

    Department of Pharmacology,
    Hebrew University Jerusalem

    Nadir Arber (Israel)

    Hisham Darwish (Palestinian Authority)

    Why is colorectal cancer rare among Palestinians and common among Israelis? A molecular and epidemiological approach.

    Department of Gastroenterology,
    Ichilov Hospital
    Tel Aviv

    Department of Biochemistry,
    Faculty of Medicine,
    El-Quds University
    Abu Dies

    Gadi Spira (Israel)

    Nimer Assay (Israel)

    Angiogenic factors may prevent post-operative liver failure following hepatic resection in experimental cirrhosis

    Technion Medical School, Haifa, Israel

    Upper Galilee Medical Services

    Samy El-Badawy (Egypt)

    Cancer research infrastructure development workshop

    National Cancer Institute Cairo, Egypt

    Daniel H. Wreschner (Israel)

    Pavlos Neophytou (Cyprus)

    Serum Levels of the Tumor Marker Muci Isoforms for Breast Cancer Diagnosis in Cypriot Families and in Non-Familial Patients

    Faculty of Medicine Technion, Haifa

    Mendel Center for Biomedical Services Lefkosia, Cyprus

    Eitan Friedman (Israel)

    Kyproula Christodoulou (Cyprus)

    Adamos Adamou (Cyprus)

    Ziad Abdeen (Palestinian Authority)

    Identifying novel genomic regions and genes associated with inherited predisposition to breast and ovarian cancer Israel



    Oncogenetics Unit,
    Institute of Genetics
    Chaim Sheba Medical Center

    Department of Electron Microscopy and Molecular Pathology,
    Cyprus Institute of Neurology & Genetics
    Nicosia, Cyprus

    Bank of Cyprus Oncology Centre
    Nicosia, Cyprus

    Al Quds University Jerusalem

    Amr Soliman (Egypt)

    Kamal Bani Hani (Jordan)

    Khalil Hamdan and A.R. Salhab (Palestinian Authority)

    Farhat Ben Ayed (Tunisia)

    Melissa Bondy (USA)

    Exploring Oxidative Damage in Premenopausal Breast Cancer Patients from Egypt, Jordan, Palestine, and Tunisia

    National Cancer Institute Cairo, Egypt

    Gaza & West Bank

    Salah Ben Aziz Cancer Center, Tunisia

    M.D. Anderson Cancer Center
    Houston, Texas

    Pavlos I. Neophylou (Cyprus)

    Samir Al-Kayed (Jordan)

    Establishment of DNA and serum banks for Jordanian familial cancer patients and relatives

    Mendel Center for Biomedical Sciences
    Nicosia, Cyprus

    Radiotherapy and Oncology Department,
    Al Bashir Hospital
    Amman, Jordan

    Amr Soliman (Egypt)

    Nidal Al-Masri (Jordan)

    A pilot study to investigate the epidemiology of non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in Egypt and Jordan

    National Cancer Institute, Cairo University

    Jordan University for Science and Technology

    Amy Avgar (Israel)

    Carol El-Jabari (Palestinian Authority)

    The impact of an empowerment model on Palestinian and Israeli Women coping with Breast Cancer: A Proposal for Action Research


    JDC-Brookdale Institute
    Jerusalem, Israel

    Patient’s Friends Society
    Jerusalem, Palestinian Authority

    Eldad J. Dann (Israel)

    Alyan Husein (Palestinian Authority)

    Acute myeloid leukemia in-patients from different ethnic origin: Incidence, age, genetic factors, and environmental factors


    Department of Hematology and Bone Marrow Transplantation,
    Rambam Medical Center Haifa, Israel

    Beit Jala Hospital
    Bethlehem, Palestinian Authority

    Eitan Friedman (Israel)

    Kyriacos Kakoullis (Cyprus)

    Mohammad A. Sultan (Jordan)

    Characterisation of the mutational spectrum in BRCA genes in individuals at high risk for developing breast and ovarian cancer from Cyprus and Jordan

    Oncogenetics Unit,
    Sheba Medical Center
    Tel-Hashomer, Israel

    Mendel Center for Biomedical Sciences
    Nicosia, Cyprus

    Sultan Medical Labs
    Amman, Jordan

    Emma Guttman-Yassky (Israel)

    Shai Linn (Israel)

    Ronit Sarid (Israel)

    Reuven Bergman (Israel)

    Bassam Qasem (Jordan)

    Investigation of Human Herpesvirus-89 (HHV-8) Transmission routes among Kaposi’s sarcoma patients and their families

    Department of Dermatology,
    Rambam Medical Center

    Bruce Rappaport Faculty of Medicine
    Haifa, Israel

    Department of Epidemiology,
    Rambam Medical Center

    Faculty of Life Sciences,
    Bar Ilan University
    Ramat Gan, Israel

    Jordan Cancer Registry
    MoH, Amman, Jordan

    Taleb H. Al-Tel (Palestinian Authority)

    Musa H. Abu Zarga (Jordan)

    Jamal Mahajna (Israel)

    The synthesis of novel, potent, and selective modulators of tyrosine kinases for cancer therapeutics

    Studies and Projects Unit,
    An-Najah National University Nablus, Palestinian Authority

    Chemistry Department,
    Jordan University
    Amman, Jordan

    R&D Regional Center,
    The Galilee Society, Israel


    Conflict of interest arises when a reviewer has a personal, professional or financial reason to provide other than an objective review of an application or a proposal. If personal or professional bias is acknowledged by a reviewer or determined to exist by review staff; the individual is required to recuse him/herself from the review.

    A reviewer will be considered to have financial conflict of interest if he/she has received or could receive a direct financial benefit from an individual or organization in relation to the application under review.

    Even the appearance of conflict of interest should be avoided.

    A conflict of interest may occur indirectly if an application is submitted by a close relative or professional associate of a reviewer, or if the relative or associate has financial dealings with an applicant. Close relatives are considered to be parents, a spouse or domestic partner, or children. Professional associates include colleagues with whom the reviewer engages in research, as well as other colleagues, scientific mentors, or students with whom the reviewer has personally worked within the past two years. If a close relative or professional associate could receive a financial benefit as a result of a reviewer's recommendation, this financial benefit shall be treated as the reviewer's own.

    A reviewer should not be from the same institution (or any of its branches) as the applicant, or have a "close relative" at that institution.


    Principal Investigator

    The application requests funds for:
         A cancer research project or feasibility study
         Establishing the infrastructure necessary to perform cancer research

    Evaluate the merit of the application according to the following review criteria. For each criterion circle a numeric score, with 1 = Lowest Merit; 5 = Highest Merit. For each item space is provided for brief written comments.

    1. Significance of the project to cancer research and to the goals of the MECC. For proposed research projects, what is the probability that important new information will result? For feasibility studies and infrastructure requests, will the proposed effort help to establish a foundation for future cancer research project?

    2. 1 2 3 4 5
      Low       High



    3. Feasibility of the project. Are the goals realistic? Will the resources be in place to carry out the proposed work?

      1 2 3 4 5
      Low       High


    4. Ability and expertise of the principal investigator(s) to undertake the project. Does the written application provide convincing evidence that the principal investigator(s) has the ability, time and expertise to complete the project as proposed?

      1 2 3 4 5
      Low       High



    6. Adequacy and appropriateness of the proposed budget and time line. This relates to the question of feasibility to the project. Are the proposed budget and duration of the work realistic?

      1 2 3 4 5
      Low       High


    7. Overall merit of the proposed project. Considering the preceding four criteria, assign an overall rating. Note that this rating need not be the average of the preceding scores. Instead, this score should represent the overall quality of the application.

      1 2 3 4 5
      Low       High