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European Cancer Charities Award $39.4M in Research Grants

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) — Cancer Research UK announced today that it has partnered with two other European charities to award roughly £30 million ($39.4 million) in translational cancer research grants.

The five-year grants — being funded by Cancer Research UK, Italy's Associazione Italiana per la Ricerca sul Cancro, and Spain's Fundación Científica de la Asociación Española Contra el Cáncer (FC AECC) — were awarded through the charities' Accelerator Awards program, which is designed to facilitate collaboration between research groups from different institutions.

"A global collaboration is needed to accelerate results in cancer research," FC AECC General Director Isabel Orbe said in a statement. "This charity partnership will provide tools to support researchers in an international framework, helping them to create multidisciplinary networks and support the research of new unexplored areas."

Among the Accelerator Award recipients are a group led by the Cancer Research UK Beatson Institute in Glasgow, which will receive up to £5 million to identify new colorectal cancer therapeutic targets and use molecular phenotyping to stratify patients into different clinical trial treatment groups; a University of Trento-led team that will receive up to £5 million to develop a blood test that uses genomic and other data for advanced prostate cancer treatment selection and disease monitoring; and a Clinica Universidad de Navarra-led group that will receive up to £4.8 million to identify biomarkers of blood cancer drug resistance and novel drug targets.

Also receiving grant funding are a group led by investigators at Fondazione Centro San Raffaele, which will receive approximately £4.8 million to use single-cell genomics and other technologies to develop methods for studying individual tumor cells before and after therapeutic intervention; a University of Milan-Bicocca-led team, which will receive around £4.5 million to improve chimeric antigen receptor-based cancer immunotherapy; and a Newcastle University-led team, which will receive around £5 million to establish a European network of hepatocellular carcinoma researchers to advance immunotherapies for the disease.