Cancer Grand Challenges

As part of the Cancer Grand Challenges, Imagine for Margo, through the participation of its founding president Patricia Blanc, is proud to announce financial support of more than 23 million euros for the PROTECT research project. The objective of the latter is to “boost” the creation of new treatments for the thousands of children and adolescents who are fighting against the most aggressive cancers.


On March 6, 2024, the Cancer Grand Challenges announced its support for the PROTECT research project in which Patricia Blanc, founding President of Imagine for Margo, is a stakeholder. In total, more than 20 million euros will be allocated to this superb multidisciplinary program which aims, first and foremost, at developing innovative treatments for the most aggressive childhood cancers (Ewing’s sarcoma, high-grade gliomas, neuroblastomas, etc.).

Patricia Blanc, Founding President of Imagine for Margo: “It is with immense joy that we announce the funding of more than 20 million euros obtained for the PROTECT project. After NextGen [see below], the Grand Cancer Challenges is once again integrating pediatrics into its funding by supporting this multidisciplinary research program of which I am a stakeholder. Today we live in a time full of hope for the thousands of children and adolescents who are fighting against the disease. Margo’s message “Go, Fight, Win” is being transformed into reality thanks to the convergence of all national, European and international actions carried out by associations, industrialists, public authorities, etc. “.

In addition to this dynamic, driven by strong synergy between internationally recognized researchers, this project will also contain a second component aimed at better structuring and better financing innovation in pediatric oncology. This part of the PROTECT project, for which Patricia Blanc is mobilizing, aims at responding to the lack of funding and economic attractiveness, a major obstacle on this subject, in the development of new therapies for childhood cancers.

Indeed, this part of the PROTECT project will have to solve two main objectives:

  • Propose tailor-made economic models: economic model recommendations should include a mapping of all unmet patient needs and potential therapeutic assets that can be repositioned in pediatrics. These new business models must be sufficiently agile and innovative to be attractive to investors and companies, particularly in a context where childhood cancers remain rare.
  • Submit regulatory reforms to support therapeutic development and mobilize all stakeholders and political decision-makers to advocate for this revolution in pediatric oncology, demanded by all doctors, families, patients and associations. A working group was recently formed to consider effective solutions to the major obstacles to the development of new drugs (issues in the implementation of licenses for the use of discoveries in universities or government agencies or delays in the launch of pediatric studies).

This part of the PROTECT program will be led by members from international associations: Patricia Blanc (Imagine for Margo, France), Nancy Goodman (Kids v Cancer, USA), Sam Daems (Waterland Private Equity, Netherlands), Delphine Heenen (Kick Cancer, Belgium), Neil Hutchin (Magic Water, USA), Dena Sherwood (Arms Wide Open Childhood Cancer Foundation, USA) as well as a collaborator from the LifeArc Foundation (UK). Furthermore, this latter philanthropic organization strongly and financially supports this part of the PROTECT program. Finally, the team will also rely on experts in pediatric oncology (Accelerate and ITCC networks for example).


During the next 12 months, the team will be responsible for:

  • Map unmet needs in pediatric cancers.
  • Identify and prioritize potential therapies.
  • Design efficient economic models adapted to pediatric oncology.
  • Advocate for regulatory and legal reforms to promote the development of these therapies in as many countries as possible.

Thanks to the expertise of all parties and the resources provided by LifeArc, this work will be decisive in responding, through innovative solutions, to all of the needs of patients, mainly focused on better healing of high-risk cancers. risk and the development of therapies that induce as few after-effects as possible.


The Cancer Grand Challenges is a global initiative that aims at accelerating research and development of innovative solutions for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer. Launched in 2015, the Cancer Grand Challenges is a collaboration between Cancer Research UK (CRUK), the Cancer Research Institute (CRI, USA), the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR, UK), as well as other international partners including Imagine for Margo.

Its main objective is to mobilize skills and expertise on a global scale and provide significant funding to explore the most daring and innovative ideas to improve our understanding and capacity to fight cancer.

The projects were selected for the Cancer Grand Challenges by their collaborative approach, their ambitious scale and their potential to revolutionize the field of cancer.

In the past, Patricia Blanc was part of the NextGen project which aimed at bringing next-generation chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cell therapies to children with sarcomas and brain tumors in order to fight these diseases more effectively.


Patricia Blanc has twenty years of experience in one of the largest French banks, in the areas of audit, strategy and development, cross-functional project management and human resources. She has always worked in an international environment and has also lived in South Africa (1993-1996) and the United States, in New York (2000-2006).

Since October 2013, Patricia has devoted herself to the association “Imagine for Margo- Children without Cancer” created at the end of 2011 with her husband following the death of their daughter Margaux, diagnosed at the age of 14 with an aggressive brain tumor.

In 10 years, Imagine for Margo has allocated 20 million euros to European research to develop innovative and specific treatments for children and adolescents suffering from cancer.

Patricia Blanc is actively mobilizing with French and European institutions, researchers and drug manufacturers in order to improve laws and regulations and increase investment in pediatric oncology.

Patricia is a member of several associative committees and collectives, including;

member of the monitoring committee of the European Cancer Plan (pediatric cancer group) and former advisor for the Cancer Mission, member of the Childhood Cancer International -Europe network of parent associations,

member of the Executive Committee of the international ACCELERATE platform for the development of new treatments for children and adolescents, member of the Scientific Council of the SFCE (French Society for the Fight against Cancers and Leukemias of Children and Adolescents), member of the GRAVIR associative collective and the IMPACT collective.

  • Medal of the National Assembly