The Neuroendocrine Tumor Research Foundation (NETRF) is pleased to announce its request for proposals (RFP) for breakthrough “Accelerator Grants” to advance its vital mission to cure neuroendocrine cancers (NETs). With these grants, NETRF is launching the most ambitious privately funded global research effort ever undertaken to control and cure neuroendocrine cancers.
While there has been recent progress in the lab and in treatment, most patients continue to be misdiagnosed for years, only to then face metastatic disease for which treatments are limited. Although these tumors can sometimes be effectively managed for years, they can also become aggressive for reasons we still don’t understand. There is no cure currently available.
NETRF is seeking proposals for significant NET research projects, with each grant award of up to $1.2 million over four years. “NETRF seeks to fund the most dedicated teams and robust proposals to transform the landscape of NET research,” said Lauren Erb, NETRF Director of Research. Inspired by the generous funding received from the Margie and Robert E. Petersen Foundation, NETRF created the ‘Accelerator Grants’ as a tribute to automobile publishing giant Robert E. Petersen, who passed away from neuroendocrine cancer in 2007. “We understand that strong, peer-reviewed research takes time, but we also understand the urgency that our patients and families feel,” said Ron Hollander, NETRF Executive Director. “Our commitment is to reach out to researchers internationally to bring the best ideas and attract leading investigators to hopefully move our drive for better treatments and cures into the fast lane.”
In funding “Accelerator Grants,” NETRF will connect and convene these teams of researchers to share their data, cross-fertilize their learning, and create a virtual dream team of top investigators all working toward finding a cure for neuroendocrine cancers. In addition to inviting investigators who have previously demonstrated progress with NETRF funding, a wide net will be cast to discover other innovative approaches that may be applied to the study of neuroendocrine tumors.
“We are soliciting competitive proposals from top centers and a critical mass of researchers with an intense focus on targets for diagnosis and treatment,” said NETRF Board Chair, Carol Branaman. All proposals will be evaluated in a rigorous review process by NETRF’s Board of Scientific Advisors in order to determine which proposals can make the furthest strides towards curing neuroendocrine cancers.
NETs are rare and originate from specialized cells called neuroendocrine cells. NETs can occur throughout the body, but primary sites include the gastrointestinal tract, pancreas, rectum, lungs, and appendix. More than 100,000 people in the US are living with neuroendocrine cancers and the number of those diagnosed is increasing by more than five percent annually. Because symptoms often mimic those of other conditions, the majority of NET patients are initially misdiagnosed and the time from onset of symptoms to proper diagnosis often exceeds five years. To date, there are few clues as to what makes these tumors form, change, and grow.
For 11 years, the NET Research Foundation has built, connected, and supported a growing community of researchers dedicated to breakthrough scientific research in the quest to cure neuroendocrine cancers. Since its inception, the NET Research Foundation has awarded over $14 million in large-scale, multi-year research grants to leading scientists at renowned research institutions, and 7 of the top 10 US cancer centers.