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Myc is a gene that is mutated and persistently switched on in the majority of human cancers – it’s a hallmark of the disease in nearly seven out of ten cases.

Mutant and overactive Myc helps tumours survive, and this strongly suggests that blocking its function would be a powerful approach to treating many types of cancer.

Of course, Myc isn’t the only gene mutation that’s linked to cancer, so why is this a Grand Challenge? It’s partly because the gene makes a protein (called MYC) that is a powerful ‘super controller’–a vital hub at the centre of a vast communication network within cells, and the properties of the MYC protein itself make it really difficult to design a drug against it.

That’s why we’re putting out a call to the global research community – this challenge needs more than just money, it needs new thinking, innovation and a wide range of expertise.