The Neuroendocrine Tumor Research Foundation (NETRF) announced $2.62 million in neuroendocrine tumor (NET) grants to advance research aimed at finding new and innovative treatments for this uncommon cancer.

NETRF made the awards to nine investigators dedicated to bringing new hope to patients by advancing the scientific knowledge and understanding of NETs. NETRF will support three international awardees from the global NET research community and has extended its outreach as six of the nine awardee institutions will receive NETRF support for the first time. NETRF’s latest round of awards provide critical funding for unique projects on NETs, addressing both basic and translational research.

The Foundation granted its Petersen Accelerator Award to Martyn Caplin, DM, FRCP, of the University College London, to study mesenteric fibrosis in NETs originating from the small intestine. “This collaborative study across two European NET Centers addresses an important unmet need in NET research,” said NETRF Director of Research John Kanki, PhD. “A better understanding of fibrosis and its role in the clinical outcomes of NET patients may have a significant impact on clinical care.”

In addition to the Petersen Accelerator Award, NETRF funded three Investigator Awards, one Mentored Award sponsored by Ipsen, and four Pilot awards in this round of grants, that support a diverse set of projects exploring many new areas of NET research. The projects also address many different types of NETs. Three of the grants focus on research on gastrointestinal NETs, three on pancreatic NETs, two on multiple NETs types, and one on pheochromocytomas and paragangliomas.

Two of the studies funded by NETRF at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston and Copenhagen University Hospital in Denmark focus on improving a therapeutic approach called peptide receptor radionuclide therapy (PRRT) that is used to treat some types of NETs. This therapy specifically targets radioactive therapeutics to specific molecules on the cell surface of the tumor cells in order to kill them.

Other funded research projects include studies on epigenetics and genomics, inhibitors of glucose consumption in NETs, digital image analysis in NETs, targeted neuron-cancer interactions, and disease cell line models to better understand the molecular and genetic basis of pheochromocytomas and paragangliomas.

The Foundation is accepting applications for its next grant cycle and applications will be due in March 2021. For details visit the NETRF website.