Sponsor Deadline
Posted: 10/19/2023

Crazy 8 Initiative Program on Childhood Cancer Predisposition

Childhood cancer is the leading cause of death in children in the United States and Canada and the Crazy 8 initiative’s aim is to change the trajectory of pediatric oncology. With this goal, the Crazy 8 initiative kicked off in the Fall of 2018 with a meeting that brought together more than 90 scientists from around the world to help define the research landscape in eight key areas of need to tackle major obstacles impeding progress toward cures for childhood cancer, ALSF has awarded 6 research teams across 21 institutions, a total of $26 million, funding innovative research that addresses topics of drugging the undruggable and the developmental origins of cancer.

In 2024, ALSF Crazy 8 Initiative will focus on Childhood Cancer Predisposition and Prevention. It is now estimated that at least 15-20% of children with cancer harbor a germline cancer predisposition gene. Although currently about 100 cancer predisposition syndromes are known, there are clearly more syndromes and more genes to be discovered. There is a need to identify cancers in these individuals early to establish surveillance protocols for effective treatment. In addition, there is a need to develop effective approaches to prevent or delay tumor onset in children determined to be genetically at risk. The focus of this award will be on multiple aspects of a single cancer predisposition syndrome, or on a broader area (e.g. surveillance) across a number of different syndromes. 

This ALSF Crazy 8 RFA focuses on understanding childhood cancer predisposition and prevention.  The focus must be on pediatric/adolescent cancer predisposition and should be a consortium of two or more institutions with different areas of research collaborating to integrate their expertise. It is strongly encouraged to have a patient advocate on the team. The proposal should address a topic that is responsive to at least one of the five areas of focus listed above.  The proposals will be judged on innovation, scientific soundness, significance, and the potential for impact on improving the lives of children with cancer.

The award selection process involves three stages: (1) a letter of intent to narrow the pool to the projects most in line with the scope of the Crazy 8 Initiative; (2) a full proposal to select finalists; and (3) a virtual presentation to ALSF leadership and the Crazy 8 Scientific Advisory Board to choose the award recipient(s).  


Required Letter of Intent Due: January 4, 2024

Full Application Due: April 17, 2024 


Areas of Interest

Five major areas of focus have been identified for this Crazy 8 RFA:

• New Gene Discovery

• Genotype-phenotype correlations  

• Surveillance optimization

• Predisposition Models

• Cancer Prevention  

Eligibility Requirements

• PIs, Co-PIs, and Co-Is must have an MD, PhD, or MD/PhD or equivalent and be appointed as faculty (or equivalent) at an academic institution.  

• PIs, Co-PIs, and Co-Is must have a track record of publication and funding productivity that demonstrates that the project can be accomplished by the investigators.

• PIs, Co-PIs, and Co-Is institutions may be based in the United States or abroad, and applicants need not be United States citizens. Funds must be granted to nonprofit institutions or organizations and will be distributed in US dollars.

• PIs, Co-PIs, and Co-Is may not be a PI, Co-PI, or Co-I on a currently funded Crazy 8 Project Team. If a Co-I with special expertise is needed to complete the team, please send your request with a brief description of why this member is critical for the team to Margaret Poore at M.Poore@AlexsLemonade.org and we will review it administratively. 

Amount Description

The requested budget should be in proportion to the scope of the proposed project and its corresponding potential for impact. Depending on the type of project and the size of the team, the requested budget should be in the range of $3-5 million USD over four years. Cost efficiency will be one of the major considerations in review and funding decisions. Funding through subsequent years of the grant period is contingent upon satisfactory progress as determined by a Crazy 8 Initiative Scientific Review Board.  

Funding Type