Apply for funding | Anticancerfund

Apply for funding

Support to clinical research is our core activity.
Therefore, in 2019 the Anticancer Fund launched a Request for Application (RFA).

Request for Application 2019

We are seeking to support clinical trials aiming at reducing recurrence rates for cancer patients treated with curative intent.

The focus is on cancer types (or well-defined sub-types), with high rates of recurrence despite curative-intent treatments. We define cancers with high rates of recurrence as cancers treated with curative intent having a 5-year relative survival below 60% (see Figure 4 of the US Cancer Statistics 2019 for instance). This list of cancer types includes the most common forms of pancreatic, brain, lung, oesophagus, gastric, liver, gallbladder, ovarian, bladder cancers and sarcomas. Other types or subtypes are eligible if there is evidence that they have a 5-year relative survival below 60%. Subtypes must be well-defined, clinically relevant & non-controversial.

We encourage applications from all clinicians involved in the curative treatment of cancer patients (surgeons, radiation oncologists, medical oncologists, organ specialists …).

We encourage applicants to contact for any question related to the RFA and to check eligibility of their proposal in case of doubt.

The proposal can be for

  • A new trial
  • A new arm in an existing multi-arm trial
  • Participation of an additional country in an existing international trial
  • Extra-funding for an under-funded existing trial

Randomised trials are preferred but other designs can be considered if strongly justified.

Eligibility criteria

Trials are eligible if they meet all of the following criteria:

  1. Trial in patients with cancers at high risk of recurrence as defined above.
  2. Trial in patients who are or have been treated with a curative intent, i.e. with the goal of achieving a complete remission and preventing the recurrence of cancer. The main curative-intent treatment settings are the neoadjuvant, perioperative, adjuvant and maintenance settings.
  3. Trial serves patients’ interest and is patient-centered.
  4. Interventions can consist of approved drugs (drug repurposing), non-commercial cell-based therapies, radiotherapy, surgery or any combination of those. Trials of therapeutic optimisation are accepted. For interventions not fitting those categories, we recommend contacting us before working on the LOI to assess eligibility.
  5. The commercial owner of the intervention (marketing authorisation holder for drugs) is not willing to provide full funding for the trial. This applies to drugs as well as to devices, machines ….
  6. The leading clinical trial team has a track record of high-quality trials – preferentially investigator-driven trials – in the field relevant to the application.
  7. Authorised and/or upcoming interventions in the specific cancer type and setting are limited (low competition).
  8. Patient participation in the proposed trial will not be impeded by other ongoing trials in the same cancer type and setting.

Applications will be automatically rejected if:

  1. Other trial(s) of the same intervention in the same (or very similar) cancer and setting are ongoing (or registered) elsewhere.
  2. The applicant omitted to disclose secured funding or ongoing funding applications for the same trial.


  • The budget must be realistic and limited to the core activity of the clinical trial.  
  • Investigator fees and overhead costs are not accepted.
  • Budget for translational work should be limited.
  • Co-funding is welcome. All applicants must disclose the funding already secured and all past and ongoing funding applications.

2-step RFA

Step 1

All applicants are requested to submit a Letter of Intent (LOI) and a budget estimate.

Deadline was Sunday 16 June 2019, 23:59 CET

Submission of the LOI has been closed !

Step 2

All applicants are requested to submit a full application, i.e. a trial protocol (ready or almost ready to be submitted to authorities and IRB/Ethics committee) and a detailed budget.

Deadline is Sunday 17 November 2019, 23:59 CET


Step 1: Letter of Intent

We ask all applicants to fill a Letter of Intent (LOI) form which includes 2 main sections:

  1. The eligibility section where applicants demonstrate that their proposal meets all the above-mentioned criteria.
  2. The trial information section where applicants provide details on their proposal.

Deadline for submission of the LOI is Sunday 16 June 2019, 23:59 CET

The evaluation of the letter of intent will be done by the ACF team and will include

  • Checking the criteria
  • Evaluating the scientific rationale and the possible existence of counterevidence
  • Performing horizon scanning to assess competition in the proposed cancer & setting
  • Checking the budget & the possible other sources of funding already available

From all applications, maximum 10 applications will be selected to go forward to step 2.
Applicants will be notified whether their LOI has been selected to proceed to Step 2 by 30 August 2019.

Step 2: Full Application

Step 2 starts with a teleconference with the ACF team. The goal of this teleconference is to explain the process, perform a preliminary evaluation of the feasibility for running the trial, and assess whether any circumstances have changed that have made the trial less relevant since receipt of the LOI.

At the same time, the applicants will be asked to submit a full application containing:

  • Protocol: we will ask the applicants to submit a protocol ready (or almost ready) to be submitted to the competent authorities and to the IRB/EC;
  • Budget: detailed breakdown of the budget;
  • Rebuttal: we might ask further elaboration on specific questions and/or concerns that arose during the evaluation of the LOI.

Deadline for full application is Sunday 17 November 2019, 23:59 CET

The evaluation of the full application will be done by external reviewers who are specialists in the cancer concerned by the proposal. Patients representatives will also review the proposals.

The final selection is expected to be communicated to all participants in February 2020.

For the selected trials, the final go will only be given after a site visit and final evaluation about the feasibility of running the trial.


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