The DCIDE program will consider the full range of diagnostic imaging agents, including contrast agents, biologic and molecular probes, and radiolabeled compounds, as well as agents that may be an integral part of image-targeted therapy. The program will also include agents relevant to detection or preventive interventions of pre-cancerous lesions. For example, a similar program, NCI's Early Detection Research Network (EDRN), supports research on biomarker development and testing for early detection and risk assessment. The DCIDE program is expected to yield new biomarkers that target specific receptors in pre-neoplastic and early invasive lesions, which can serve as imaging probes.
Although probes with high clinical potential are likely to be the most successful candidates, the DCIDE probe library will also provide agents for pre-clinical and basic research targeted at in vivo imaging, as noted above. The DCIDE program will provide or facilitate the acquisition of probes for these specific purposes but will not directly fund the basic research study. Funds for the research must come from other sources such as existing NCI grant programs.