Announcing 4 new teams receiving $100m to take on cancer's toughest challenges

16 June 2022
$100m funded - meet the new teams

Today we announce the four new teams selected to each receive $25m Cancer Grand Challenges funding to take on some of the toughest challenges in cancer research.  

Representing a total investment of $100m, these are the first teams to be funded through the partnership between Cancer Research UK and the National Cancer Institute in the US. We’re delighted to welcome the teams to the Cancer Grand Challenges community, which now unites more than 700 researchers and advocates to take on 10 challenges, across 11 teams and 10 countries.  

  • The CANCAN team will take on the Cachexia challenge. Led by Eileen White (Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey), Marcus DaSilva Goncalves (Weill Cornell Medicine) and Tobias Janowitz (Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory), and uniting investigators across the US and UK, the team will develop a deeper understanding of this debilitating wasting condition often in the later stages of cancer and identify urgently needed therapies.  

  • The eDyNAmiC team will take on the Extrachromosomal DNA challenge. Led by Paul Mischel, Stanford Medicine, and uniting investigators across the UK, US and Germany, the team will identify new ways to target this important driver of tumour metabolism, present in around a third of cancers, and develop therapies for some of the hardest types of cancer to treat.  

  • The NexTGen team will take on the Solid Tumours in Children challenge. Led by Catherine Bollard (Children’s National Hospital) and Martin Pule (University College London) and uniting investigators across the US, UK and France, the team hopes to deepen our understanding of childhood tumours’ unique vulnerabilities to develop next generation CAR T-cell therapies for children with brain tumours and sarcoma. The NexTGen team is also generously supported by The Mark Foundation for Cancer Research.  

  • The PROMINENT team will take on the Normal Phenotypes challenge. Led by Allan Balmain (University of California, San Francisco), Paul Brennan (IARC) and Nuria Lopez-Bigas (IRB Barcelona), with investigators across the US, France and Spain, will explore an alternative model of carcinogenesis, the promoter concept, in which cells are initiated by mutations but remain dormant until a promoting factor such as inflammation triggers the process to malignancy. They will then build a ‘roadmap’ of early cancer development, looking for new routes to prevention. The PROMINENT team is also generously supported by Asociación Española Contra el Cáncer. 

We’re delighted to be co-funding some of this round of teams with visionary partners who share our aspirations to create change. NexTGen is generously supported by The Mark Foundation for Cancer Research and PROMINENT is generously supported by Asociación Española Contra el Cáncer (the Spanish Association Against Cancer)

“The hallmark of a Cancer Grand Challenge is an obstacle that’s just out of our grasp. Some push the frontiers of our knowledge, while others seek to break down barriers that have slowed progress for decades. All hold the potential to drive forward advances at a scale that could transform outcomes for people with cancer,” says Professor Sir David Lane, chair of the Cancer Grand Challenges scientific committee. “We're delighted to be working with a global network of partners who share our aspirations to drive change, supporting 4 new teams to take on 4 of the most important challenges in cancer research.” 

Find out more about our partners and donors here.