The ACF for researchers | Anticancerfund

The ACF for researchers

The ACF assists in optimising the output of cancer research worldwide. We focus on new cancer treatments for unmet patient needs. Untapped, evidence-based potential drives our work.

ACF for Researchers

Our modus operandi

We act on several levels: we invest in research, we involve in clinical trials, we connect stakeholders worldwide and we share knowledge. Our activities include financing and pursuing valuable research, exploring treatment potential through literature reviews, consolidating results across research institutes and providing practical support for investigator-driven clinical trials.

Models of Clinical Engagement

There are four components of our engagement with investigator-driven clinical research: financial support, scientific and strategic input, consortium-building, and protocol development and documentation. To promote a variable and flexible approach to clinical trial support, we combine these components to suit the needs of each clinical project we support.

Financial support

The ACF support takes the form of a grant of funds to an institution running a clinical trial with minimal input and involvement of the funder. Projects are approved based on a series of reviews. We do provide simple financial support to trials that are in line with our philosophy and objectives.

The process:

  1. The ACF will undertake an internal scientific review of potential trials and may make suggestions regarding study and protocol design. The ACF prefers being an active partner in larger trials.

  2. The proposal will then be externally peer-reviewed by independent (international) experts with relevant experience.

  3. A funding agreement will be drafted and signed, stipulating that the support of the ACF, both financial and scientific, is acknowledged.

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Scientific and strategic input

The ACF is capable of assessing the merits of a project in its early conceptual stages. We can work with clinicians to provide ideas, advice and feedback to varying degrees – from fine-tuning an advanced trial to structural thinking in the design of a joint project.

We think with you according to your needs. On a concrete level, we can identify drugs of potential clinical benefit in specific disease settings, or we can go as far as assembling the scientific rationale for a trial that is in the earliest stage of conceptual development.

The ACF also closely liaises with strategy development to maximise the impact of a project. This may include a communication plan, a roadmap for subsequent trials or projects, drug licensing, etc. Our intellectual engagement is not necessarily linked to funding. The ACF’s involvement can be limited to providing intellectual input and in-kind contribution of manpower without being a financial partner in a trial. When linked to funding, our scientific and strategic engagement is profound compared to ‘pure-funding’ models of standard not-for-profit partners.

The ACF is interested in building collaborations that extend beyond the simple transfer of funds.

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Multi-centre and multinational collaborations drive clinical research but they are time-consuming and resource-intensive. The ACF supports clinicians in establishing international contacts – providing the time and resources to identify potential collaborators, open lines of communication and handle the practical tasks of coordinating successful consortia.

The ACF can take the lead in initiating clinical collaborations. We have an extensive global network of oncology contacts, and we can proactively identify clinicians and researchers with shared research interests. We can also help ensure a successful collaboration by assisting with communication and coordination throughout the project lifecycle.

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Protocol development and documentation

Support from the ACF can encompass scientific administrative tasks that are part of every clinical trial – detailed documentation of the rationale, the protocol, IRB applications, regulatory approval processes, etc. We can assist with these, enabling projects to proceed in accordance with agreed timelines and standards.

Scientific administrative support can be combined with scientific and strategic input and/or consortium building. As with the other components of the ACF model, protocol development and documentation support are independent of funding.

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Tailored support

We approach projects in a fundamentally different way: as collaborative engagements with clinicians developing therapeutic interventions that align with our own strategic objectives. Although we apply a standard ‘template’ to all projects in our portfolio, we remain flexible. Every project is tailored to meet the needs of all stakeholders to deliver trials that benefit patients.


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