Is a patient's cancer fast growing and in need of immediate treatment, or is it a slower growing, non-lethal type that can be left alone? At present, doctors can’t always tell the difference, which is why Cancer Research UK's (CRUK's) have identified the issue of 'lethal vs non-lethal' cancers as one of their 'Grand Challenges'.
For each of the challenges, CRUK is offering a grant of £20 million to provide a team of researchers the freedom to try novel approaches, at scale, in the pursuit of potentially life changing discoveries.
For the lethal vs non-lethal challenge, CRUK advises that the winning research idea: "should focus on identifying, understanding and validating the distinguishing features that define lethal vs non-lethal cancers, to facilitate accurate diagnosis (rather than simply describing new methods to detect any/all cancers earlier)." They anticipate that the research will lead to "more accurate technologies to aid clinical decision making, preventing unnecessary treatment, and detecting lethal cancers earlier."
The charity suggests that proposed research will focus on understanding the biological differences between certain types of cancer and premalignant states. The award panel also state that a winning proposal must include validation to determine how differences would be detected accurately in patients.
Proposals are welcomed from multidisciplinary teams consisting of clinicians, biologists, technology experts, and others who can draw on their complementary expertise to translate biological knowledge into new approaches and methodologies to aid accurate diagnosis.
A pre-application questionaire must be completed by 14th September 2017, and Expressions of Interest must be submitted by 12th October 2017.
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