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More than 30 clinical studies requested our funding

More than 30 clinical studies requested our funding

BRUSSELS - The Anticancer Fund is happy to reveal that it got 34 letters of intent on a request for application (RFA) it launched in April to support clinical trials aiming at reducing recurrence rate for cancer patients treated with curative intent. The focus was on cancer types with high rates of recurrence despite curative-intent treatments.

This request for application was the first one for The Anticancer Fund since 2013. ‘Between 2013 and 2019 we selected clinical trials differently, without sending out a request. Most of the trials came to us spontaneously in this period. They were small to moderate size clinical trials in advanced, recurrent or metastatic patients, addressing urgent needs of patients with few, if any, therapeutic options left’, mentions Gauthier Bouche, director of Clinical Research at The Anticancer Fund.

An earlier stage of cancer

Our feeling during these years was that less clinical trials were conducted in patients at an earlier stage of the disease, although these are some of the most important trials as their goal is to cure more patients. Specially in cancer, where the standard treatment is far from optimal, with a large proportion of patients recurring months or years later.

As we wanted to encourage more projects addressing these needs, we launched a request for application that focused on trials in the curative setting of bad prognosis cancers. We decided to welcome existing trials, since we know trials in the curative setting tend to be expensive and hard to complete.

‘Philanthropy should take risks’

The idea was that our funding should help important trials to be executed in an efficient manner and ultimately deliver the results patients need’, says Gauthier Bouche. ‘But we realised we were putting ourselves in a difficult situation. We were going against the trend and risked receiving very few proposals. Still, we went for it, because our strategic plan relies on quotes from the Laura and John Arnold Foundation: philanthropy should take risks, philanthropy should be strategic, philanthropy should collaborate. So, we knew we were doing the right thing.

The Anticancer Fund received 34 letters of intent, which we consider as a success. Because 34 trials in the curative setting in bad prognosis cancers is impressive. We received:

  • 6 applications for research in pancreatic cancer
  • 4 in glioblastoma
  • 3 in gastro-oesophageal cancer
  • 3 in non-small cell lung cancer

All cancers with major needs of better curative treatment. And: the applications for funding came from all over the world (see map below).

Looking forward to August

We will now take a closer look at the clinical studies. Checking all criteria, assessing rationale, back and forth with applicants in order to select 10 projects for the final round before August 30.

Gauthier Bouche: ‘We are very grateful. Thanks to all applicants for the work they’ve done to submit their proposal and for everyone who relayed the information about our request for application.

The Anticancer Fund overall supported 21 clinical trials so far, for a committed funding of 4.8 million euro.