Our collaboration with the Canadian Cancer Society (CCS), initiated in 2017, progressed last month with the announcement of a new CCS grants program specifically designed to support and advance chordoma research in Canada.
Now accepting applications, the Chordoma Research Grants program will provide grants for meritorious Canadian research projects focused on generating new ideas that lead to critically needed systemic therapies for chordoma. Grant budgets may be up to $100,000/year and a maximum of $150,000 per grant over a two-year period. The abstract registration due date is May 1, 2018.
Research priorities include:
- Therapeutic strategies to target brachyury, recently identified as the key vulnerability of chordoma: The transcription factor, brachyury is highly expressed in almost all chordoma tumours and is essential for chordoma cell survival. Identifying upstream regulators and downstream targets of brachyury will uncover novel therapeutic approaches. Strategies to target brachyury itself are also encouraged.
- Application of advances in immune therapy to treat chordoma: Characterization of immune/tumour interactions will identify mechanisms by which chordoma cells evade immune surveillance. This information will shed light on novel immune therapeutic strategies that can be explored to treat this disease.
- Identification of epigenetic strategies to control the disease: Recent evidence has suggested that epigenetic mechanisms contribute to the pathogenesis of chordoma. Characterization of epigenetic alterations may identify novel biomarkers for diagnosis and prognosis as well as therapeutic targets for treatment. Drugs inhibiting these targets may be available for preclinical evaluation in relevant chordoma models.
While additional research topics will be considered aside from the ones listed above, it is strongly encouraged that state of the art technologies and novel strategies be incorporated to achieve the goals of the research plan. It is also hoped that this grant award will foster new collaborations in order to drive translational research findings rapidly to the clinic.
Projects that require preclinical assessment of drugs and other reagents will have access to the Foundation’s 14 chordoma cell lines and 9 xenograft models. In addition, projects requiring in vivo drug testing may be considered for assessment as part of the Foundation’s Drug Screening Program.
This exciting partnership was made possible thanks to the dedication and fundraising efforts of CF’s Canadian ambassadors, Steven Golick and Ed Les, whose tireless engagement over the past several years has opened the door to exciting new research opportunities.
Abstract registration must be completed in order to submit a full application. Application guides can be found on the EGrAMS documentation for applicants page.
The Canadian Cancer Society is a national, community-based organization of volunteers whose mission is the eradication of cancer and the enhancement of the quality of life of people living with cancer. In 2016–2017, the Canadian Cancer Society funded $40 million in leading-edge research supporting more than 340 projects across the country.