This page is translated by Google and can contain errors. Go back to English.

We support an international call for research proposals in rare cancers

We support an international call for research proposals in rare cancers

Brussels - Five European anti-cancer funds join forces to stimulate international research on the treatment of rare cancers: we are excited to announce the ATTRACT-call, the first international call to scientists to accelerate drug development for rare cancers through cross-border clinical academic research. The call has an indicative budget of up to 12 million euros and opens mid November 2022.

Rare cancers account for as many as 20% of new cancer cases. Yet, for most rare cancers there are hardly any specific, targeted drugs available, leaving patients with limited or no treatment options. Main hurdle for rare cancer drug development is the small patient populations, resulting in limited interest from the industry and difficulties in setting up clinical trials with adequate statistical power. International collaborations are necessary, but funding them is challenging.

We want to stimulate cross-boarder trials

Therefore, 5 European cancer organisations, including the Anticancer Fund, join forces to give an impulse to the field of rare cancer research. Together with FC AECC (Spain), Fondation ARC (France), Kom op tegen Kanker (Belgium) and KWF Dutch Cancer Society (the Netherlands), we set up this call to stimulate international research on rare cancer drug development.

We invite European researchers and clinicians from different countries to unite and collaborate. The focus of the ATTRACT-call is on late phase (phase 2/3), collaborative, international clinical trials that aim to advance the development of better drug therapy for rare cancers. Applicants from the Netherlands, Belgium, France and Spain are invited to submit collaborative proposals and are welcome to involve inclusion centres from other countries as well. Important to mention, for Belgium a research collaboration between Flanders, Brussels and Wallonia is strongly recommended.

We want better treatments for patients with rare cancers

We are excited to pioneer in this partnership to tackle the funding gap for international research projects, especially in the field of rare cancer. Our ambitious aim is to improve the treatment of rare cancers by helping new drug innovations from research into clinical practice, making the best possible treatments accessible to rare cancer patients everywhere.

There’s a high need for cross-border clinical trials and international collaboration between scientists to defeat rare cancers. We are grateful and excited to be a part of this unique consortium that shows that with a bit of effort we can work together to fund clinical trials that will make a true difference for cancer patients”, says Rica Capistrano, Programme Director New Projects of Anticancer Fund.

Information for applicants

For more information on the scope and requirements of the call, please refer to the call-website:

Pre-proposal application open: 22 November 2022 12:00
Pre-proposal application closed: 31 January 2023 12:00
Full-proposal application open: March 2023 (only for selected proposals)
Full-proposal application closed: 27 June 2023 12:00


The ATTRACT-call has been jointly set up by the participating funding organisations and is coordinated by the Dutch Cancer Society (KWF Kankerbestrijding). For contact details, please refer to the call-website

If you have any specific question for the Anticancer Fund, please reach out to

How can you as a researcher apply for funding at the Anticancerfund?

Read more about our focus on less common and rare cancers

Discover the trials we support