Our Head of Research and Information Dr Zoe Davison explains how our new grants will work.

Can you explain what our new Infrastructure Grants are and how they will work?

The Bone Cancer Research Trust is committed to ensuring that all patients have the chance to donate samples for the use in research, as this offers the best tools for our researchers to understand primary bone cancer. To support this, we have just released a call for a special type of grant called an Infrastructure Grant.

These grants will not fund research directly but will provide funding and resources to the 5 primary bone cancer surgical centres in England to enable them to collect patient samples for use in research. These grants will be awarded for 3 years and the Bone Cancer Research Trust will play a pivotal role in monitoring the progress of the centres, providing feedback and guidance where possible.

Why is there a need for this kind of funding?

This type of funding is of the upmost value. There are a large number of world class projects that are either in progress or on the horizon that cover all types of primary bone cancer that rely on patient samples. It is becoming increasingly common for research to focus on the analysis of patient samples as these samples give the best picture as to what is happening in the cancer cells and how new drugs may be designed to target these cells.

One such project is the 100,000 Genomes Project, which is a government funded project to sequence a number of diseases with the aim of understanding the genetic hallmarks of these diseases. Primary bone cancer is included in the remit of this project; however, centres are finding it difficult to find the resources to collect these samples. Unfortunately, this is the case for many projects needing patient samples. These grants will allow centres to direct funds according to where they need them to support these projects. While these grants will not go directly to a research project, they have the potential to facilitate many different projects that probably wouldn’t be successful without a Bone Cancer Research Trust Infrastructure Grant.

Who is eligible for the grants?

These grants are open to the 5 primary bone cancer surgical centres in England in the first instance. Depending on the success of these, they may be extended to Scottish and Irish centres. Collaboration really is the key to understanding primary bone cancer.