A multi-disciplinary team of scientists from the Université Catholique de Louvain, the University of Birmingham, the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC), Alacris Theranostics GmbH, Antwerp University Hospital, OncoDNA, University of Torino, Aarhus University, ARCEDI Biotech, King’s College London, Patient Research Advisory Group and Pintail Limited has been shortlisted to the final stages of Cancer Research UK’s second Grand Challenge – an ambitious series of £20m grants tackling some of the toughest questions in cancer research. Over 130 applications for this, the largest single grant worldwide in cancer research, were submitted by consortia from all over the world. Only ten were short-listed.

Our team’s project is called “SPHENE: Stratifying cancer Patients to optimise combination treatment regimens using squamous cell carcinoma of HEad and NEck as a demonstrator.” Visit the CRUK website for more information.

SPHENE is the only short-listed project in the theme of ‘treatment regimens’ – a Grand Challenge focused on understanding why some cancer patients develop resistance to their therapies, while others respond.

Pintail’s international partnership has received seed-funding of £30,000 to enable them to prepare their full research proposal. Winning proposals will be announced in autumn 2018.

Dr Rick Klausner, chair of Cancer Research UK’s Grand Challenge advisory panel, said: “The challenges set for Grand Challenge have once again attracted some of the best researchers in the world. I’m looking forward to see how global collaboration could bring together diverse expertise, invigorate areas of research, and overcome barriers in ways that aren’t happening at this point in time.

Cancer Research UK is the world’s leading cancer charity dedicated to saving lives through research. Every step CRUK makes towards beating cancer relies on vital donations from the public.

Ciaran Clissmann, Director of Pintail said, “we are delighted to have been shortlisted in this, the most competitive of all cancer funding programmes. Our team of clinicians, scientists and mathematicians brings together a fantastic mix of skills, and enables us to look at cancer therapy resistance in a new and exciting way”.

For further information about Cancer Research UK’s work or to find out how to support the charity, please call 0300 123 1022 or visit www.cancerresearchuk.org. Follow CRUK on Twitter and Facebook.