According to a recent article, $100 million has been given to four research teams by the Cancer Grand Challenges program for cancer research.
Cancer Grand Challenges Program
The Cancer Grand Challenges program is an initiative created by Cancer Research UK (CRUK) and the National Cancer Institute (NCI). Their goal is to bring the smartest minds together to solve challenges as a result of different cancers.
In 2015, when the initiative first started, it allowed teams to start to tackle the complex issues around cancer research. These issues had already been identified by international workshops that involved cancer patients, researchers, cancer organizations, and people affected by cancer.
However, there are challenges in cancer research that still need to be faced, such as missing information on the biological side and public health issues with little evidence.
Awarding the Winners
The research teams submitted their applications for funding back in 2021. Each team had to choose to focus on one of the nine challenges that the Cancer Grand Challenges Scientific Committee had already identified. These challenges were chosen due to the major impact their research could have on understanding different cancers. Out of around 170 applicants, it was narrowed down to 11 teams before choosing the final winners.
At the Cancer Grand Challenges Summit earlier this month in Washington D.C., the four international research teams were announced. Each of the teams will get $25 million over a five-year span in order to accomplish their research.
The four teams that will be receiving funding are CANCAN, eDyNAmiC, NexTGen, and PROMINENT.
CANCAN will be researching the syndrome many cancer patients experienced called cachexia. Cachexia is a muscle wasting disease that not only negatively impacts a patient’s quality of life, but it also can make it more difficult for patient’s treatments to be tolerable and effective.
eDyNAmiC will be studying the extrachromosomal DNA that is involved in helping tumors evolve and elude treatment. Their hope is to be able to solve ways to target these mechanisms in cancer.
NexTGen will be focused on creating next-generation cell therapies for children who have solid tumors. Their research will revolve around exploring how changing the microenvironment of a tumor changes the effectiveness of treatments.
PROMINENT is aiming to find the trigger that turns normal cells with oncogenic mutations into a tumor.
These teams were mainly chosen based off of who made up their team, the backgrounds and experiences of those who would be working on the project, and a passion for their topic. In the end, hopefully all of the teams will make meaningful contributions to cancer research and the world’s understanding of cancer.
The following Cancer grand Challenges funding rounds are expected to occur in 2023 and 2025.