has announced the launch of a £100 million ($153.4 million) initiative that aims to revolutionize how cancer is diagnosed, treated, and prevented.
Through its initiative, the London-based organization will invite scientists from around the world to propose ambitious, innovative approaches to some of the most important unanswered questions in cancer research. "This is a huge and bold commitment for Cancer Research UK, and it's already generating a lot of excitement," said the organization's chief scientist, Nic Jones. "Cancer is a global problem and it demands a global response — we know that scientists around the world, and from varied disciplines, will have brilliant and innovative ideas to address these challenges and we can't wait to see them."
To help focus researchers' attention, the organization recently convened a panel of scientists, cancer researchers, and patients to establish seven challenges that address some of the most important in cancer research. The first challenge will be to develop vaccines aimed at preventing non-viral cancers, with the first winning proposal to be announced in the autumn of 2016; the successful team will be awarded up to £20 million ($30.7 million) over five or more years.
"Seeing the scientific community come together to find new ways to tackle cancer has been truly inspiring," said Rick Klausner, chair of the Grand Challenge board and former director of the U.S. National Cancer Institute. "Cancer Research UK is challenging the very way we think about cancer by bringing together scientists and patients with fresh new ideas unconstrained by discipline or location. This is research on a scale never before attempted in cancer — it's big, it's bold, and I'm very excited to be part of this journey."