Notice of Intent to Publish a Funding Opportunity Announcement for the Fusion Oncoproteins in Childhood Cancers (FusOnC2) Consortium (U54)

Notice Number: NOT-CA-18-071

Key Dates

Release Date: May 14, 2018
Estimated Publication Date of Funding Opportunity Announcement: 08/01/2018
First Estimated Application Due Date :11/01/2018
Earliest Estimated Award Date:07/01/2019
Earliest Estimated Start Date:08/01/2019

Related Announcements

Issued by
National Cancer Institute (NCI)


This Notice is associated with the Beau Biden Cancer MoonshotSM Initiative that is intended to accelerate cancer research. The National Cancer Institute (NCI) intends to publish a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) to solicit applications for research on fusion oncoproteins in childhood cancers. Specifically, this will be a reissuance of an FY18 FOA (RFA-CA-17-049) targeting the following area designated as a scientific priority by the Cancer Moonshot Blue Ribbon Panel (BRP): Recommendation E. Intensify research on the major drivers of childhood cancers: Improve our understanding of fusion oncoproteins in pediatric cancer and use new preclinical models to develop inhibitors that target them. Through the reissuance, NCI will expand the range of research opportunities explored through the Fusion Oncoproteins in Childhood Cancers (FusOnC2) Consortium, a network of collaborating research teams seeking to advance our understanding of the biology and mechanisms of action of fusion oncoproteins in pediatric cancers and to apply this knowledge towards developing targeted therapeutic approaches. Increased attention to this important but understudied area of research can help overcome existing barriers to progress and pave the way to novel therapeutic approaches with increased efficacy and fewer side effects than current options.

This Notice is being provided to allow potential applicants sufficient time to develop meaningful collaborations and responsive projects.

The FOA is expected to be published in the Summer of 2018 with an expected application receipt date in Fall of 2018.

This FOA will utilize the U54 activity code. Details of the planned FOA are provided below.

Research Initiative Details

This Notice encourages investigators with expertise relevant to fusion oncoproteins in childhood cancers to consider assembling multi-disciplinary research teams to apply to the reissued FOA. The FOA will solicit applications for FusOnC2 Centers that take a comprehensive approach to understanding the biology of pediatric fusion oncoproteins and to developing targeted therapeutics. Each FusOnC2 Center will include diverse areas of expertise to facilitate progression from structure-function biochemical data to biological insight, to small molecule inhibition, and setting the stage for preclinical in vivo testing. Relevant areas of expertise that could be included are (among others) proteomics, structural biology, genomics/epigenomics, medicinal chemistry, experimental therapeutics, and cancer biology. Multi-institutional collaborations are strongly encouraged to achieve the breadth of expertise required for a comprehensive approach to understanding fusion protein mechanisms and therapeutic targeting.

The FOA will focus on fusion oncoproteins found in tumors that have high risk of treatment failure and for which there has been little progress in identifying targeted agents. Responsive applications will be required to focus on one of the following fusion oncoproteins: EWSR1-FLI1 or related EWSR1 fusion oncoproteins (Ewing sarcoma); PAX-FOXO (alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma); SS18-SSX (synovial sarcoma); C11orf95 RELA (ependymoma); or NUP98 fusion proteins that occur in young children with AML. This list focuses on cancers for which there are no known effective targeted agents, and includes the most common fusion oncoproteins observed in pediatric solid tumors and brain tumors, as well as a high-risk leukemia that is refractory to current treatment strategies.

Teams should select either a single fusion oncoprotein or a small family of related fusion oncoproteins for comprehensive study that includes both investigation into biological mechanisms and development of targeted therapeutics.


Funding Information

Estimated Total Funding $7 million
Expected Number of Awards 3
Estimated Award Ceiling Application budgets are limited to $1.5 million direct costs per year.
Primary CFDA Numbers 93.396

Anticipated Eligible Organizations

Applications are not being solicited at this time.

Public/State Controlled Institution of Higher Education
Private Institution of Higher Education
Nonprofit with 501(c)(3) IRS Status (Other than Institution of Higher Education)
Nonprofit without 501(c)(3) IRS Status (Other than Institution of Higher Education)
Small Business
For-Profit Organization (Other than Small Business)
State Government
Indian/Native American Tribal Government (Federally Recognized)
County governments
City or township governments
Special district governments
Independent school districts
Public housing authorities/Indian housing authorities
Indian/Native American Tribally Designated Organization (Native American tribal organizations (other than Federally recognized tribal governments)
U.S. Territory or Possession
Indian/Native American Tribal Government (Other than Federally Recognized)
Regional Organization


Please direct all inquiries to:

Keren Witkin, PhD
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Telephone: 240-276-6250

Malcolm A. Smith, MD, PhD
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Telephone: 240-276-6087

Weekly TOC for this Announcement
NIH Funding Opportunities and Notices