Preliminary Announcement - The Third Joint Transnational Call for Proposals 2024 (JTC 2024)

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Entitat convocant:
European Union
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TRANSCAN-3 preannounces the launch of its 4th call for proposals (JTC 2024) on the topic of: "Combination therapies against cancer: new opportunities for translational research"

The ERA-NET TRANSCAN-3, in continuity of the preceding ERA-NET TRANSCAN-2, has the goal of coordinating national and regional funding programmes for research in the area of translational cancer research. The specific challenge is to promote a transnational collaborative approach between scientific teams in demanding areas of translational cancer research while avoiding the duplication of efforts and ensuring a more efficient use of available resources, to produce significant results of higher quality and impact, and share data and infrastructures.

The call is planned to be launched on April 26th 2024 with a submission deadline for pre-proposals in July 05th, 2024. It is expected that consortia invited to the full-proposal stage will be asked to submit their proposal in November 29th, 2024.

The call will be published simultaneously by the funding organisations in their respective countries and on the TRANSCAN website: TRANSCAN-3 JTC2024 will be implemented through a two-stage submission procedure: pre-proposals and full proposals.

Projects should be built from a solid and established hypothesis and should be relevant regarding the potential improvements in clinical practice.

Aim 1. Development of new tumour derived models to test new drug combination therapies.

Isolation and characterization of tumour cells/tumour-infiltrating immune/stromal cells for in vitro studies (3D culture systems; patient-derived organoids; patient-derived xenografts). These models should be a suitable tool to test new drug combinations or genetic perturbations to demonstrate the feasibility and applicability in terms of reproducibility and testing time (the faster the better) to this aim.

Aim 2. Design and development of high-throughput drug combination screening platforms to test new combination therapies.

This aim should include and comprise in the platform design to test combination therapies: primary cell cultures derived from patients, should be able to give rapid assessment of novel drugs, drug combinations or with radiotherapy combination at the individual patient level, combine genomic information, computational tools to predict drug responses for individual cancer patients. Protocols for dose response matrix drug combination assays, as well as computational tools to facilitate the plate design and synergy modelling, development of tailored software tools for high-throughput drug combination scoring.

Aim 3. Use of immunotherapy and radiotherapy combinations strategies to overcome drug resistance.

Radiotherapy can provoke a systemic immune response (due to abscopal effect) which gives a strong rationale for the combination of radio and immunotherapy. This aim should explore synergistic effect of radiation (including hypofractionated RT, multi-site radiation, low-dose radiation, new radiation technologies such as FLASH RT, proton RT), with checkpoint inhibitors, characterize the effect on the immune cells including the molecular mechanism and possible immune response biomarkers.


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.

In order to strengthen the European translational cancer research area, a wide inclusion of research teams from all the countries/regions participating in the call is encouraged, with a particular attention to research teams from Hungary (decision pending), Latvia, Slovakia and Turkey. If a consortium includes one of these countries, the maximum number of partners can be increased to seven (7).

It is mandatory to integrate at least one early-career researcher (ECR) as principal investigator in a consortium and this has to be clearly indicated in the proposal. The TRANSCAN-3 definition of ECR will be included in the call text document.

Each consortium must involve at least one basic or pre-clinical research team and one clinical team. It is also recommended to include an expert team in methodology, biostatistics or bioinformatics, depending on the type of work planned. The consortium may also involve
other teams with specialised skills and know-how (biobanks, model systems, technological platforms, etc.) or expertise (epidemiology and molecular epidemiology, early phase clinical trials, public health, ELSI, etc.). The consortium should have sufficient critical mass to achieve ambitious scientific, technological and medical goals and, along with the particular contribution of each research team, should clearly demonstrate its transnational added value. The translational nature of the research results is the key goal of TRANSCAN-3, therefore the consortium should also clearly demonstrate a knowledge transfer towards clinical, public health and/or industrial applications.

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 2024. Participants are therefore subject to eligibility criteria of national/regional funding organisations.


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