TRANSCAN-3: preannouncement JTC2022

Pre-announcement: Upcoming Call JTC 2022
"Novel translational approaches to tackle the challenges of hard-to-treat cancers from early diagnosis to therapy"

The TRANSCAN-3 JTC 2022 will be implemented through a two-stage submission procedure: pre-proposals and full proposals.  
Key dates related to JTC 2022:
Planned launch of the call : 23 May 2022
Submission deadline for pre-proposals:18 July 2022
Submission deadline for full proposal:15 December 2022

Aims of the Call

Proposals must be centred on one or more of the hard-to-treat-cancers (HTTC) subtypes characterized by very poor prognosis (5-year survival rate<25%) and for which survival has not improved significantly over the last decades, namely glioblastoma, oesophageal, pancreatic, gallbladder, liver, and lung/pleural cancers.
Current difficulties include the inadequacy of standard diagnostic tools or established early detection methods in the general population, but also the inefficacy of available treatment options, due to intrinsic resistance and/or ineffective drug delivery. In the context of translational cancer research, this call for proposals comprises three specific aims. 

Aim 1: Identification/validation of novel early diagnostic approaches. Early detection and diagnosis (ED&D) research seek to detect and diagnose consequential precancerous changes and cancer at the earliest possible point at which an effective intervention might be made, reducing the burden of late-stage disease.

Aim 2: Identification/validation of novel therapeutic approaches. Although ED&D may significantly reduce the disease burden, HTTC are often characterised by an intrinsic resistance to available treatments. Therefore, it is of foremost importance to understand the biological processes that make these cancers “hard to treat”, and consequently to elaborate more effective therapeutic strategies, also to improve the patients’ quality of life. 

Aim 3: Development of novel drug delivery strategies. The overarching challenge associated with effective treatment of any cancer is to minimize undesired effects while maximizing therapeutic benefits. For HTTC two additional issues arise: (i) traditional targeted drug delivery strategies suffer from limited capacity of the delivery vehicles preventing sufficient drugs reaching the cancer site which restricts the efficacy of treatment; and (ii) to access the tumour the drug needs to cross endogenous barriers, such as the blood brain barrier and tissue stroma.

Applicants will have the opportunity to add an additional section for capacity building activities (with an associated separate budget, in compliance with rules of their respective national/regional funding organisations). These activities have to be coherent with the objectives of the research project, and aimed to strengthening the ability of participating team(s) to perform the work detailed in the project plan as well as to improve, in the long term, the quality and potential of the translational research performed by the team(s).

Main elegibility criteria
Only transnational projects will be funded. Each research consortium must involve a minimum of three (3) and a maximum of six (6) eligible partners from at least three (3) different countries participating in the call. In addition, a research consortium must not involve more than two (2) research groups from one country. Applications will be submitted by the coordinator. Each consortium participant will be funded by the funding organisation from their country/region participating in the JTC 2022. Participants are therefore subject to eligibility criteria of national/regional funding organisations.

Upon call publication, applicants will have to refer to annexes of the document “Guidelines for Applicants” containing all specific national/regional eligibility criteria, and will have to contact their respective national/regional funding organisation contact points for additional clarification.

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* This pre-announcement is not legally binding and is provided for information purposes only.