Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Three research projects funded by Sarcoma UK have been completed, showing promising results in terms of earlier detection, more effective treatment and better understanding of sarcoma.

Dr Paul Huang has been investigating the mechanisms of pazopanib, a drug approved for the treatment of advanced sarcoma. Dr Huang investigated why some patients do not respond to this drug  and identified sarcoma subtypes particularly sensitive to treatment with pazopanib. The work will provide a starting point for new clinical trials in pazopanib treatment for selected subtypes. This will lead to better outcomes for patients.

Dr Huang presented this work at the Sarcoma UK Talking Research event in June 2015.

Dr Tim Forshew has been investigating the possibility of monitoring low-grade bone and soft tissue tumours with a simple blood test. Dr Forshew was the first to prove that it’s possible to read faulty DNA from the blood. In this project his research team developed a test for mutations and test samples previously collected, and were able to detect and quantify cancer DNA in the blood stream of individuals with both chondrosarcoma and giant cell tumour of bone.

The team are continuing to collect blood samples from sarcoma patients and using the tests developed on additional patients. They are using test results and clinical information to identify disease status and try to identify relapse at a cellular level.

The work was presented at the Dublin Pathology Conference 2015, and as Keynote speaker at the New Zealand Next Generation Sequencing Conference amongst others.

The International Sarcoma Kindred Study (ISKS) is an international initiative set up to identify, validate and quantify genetic risk in patients with adult-onset sarcoma. Identifying individuals at high risk of developing sarcomas could lead to earlier detection and more effective treatment of these tumours. Sarcoma UK funded the UK arm of the study, led by Dr Beatrice Seddon and Professor Ian Judson.   The primary aim of the Kindred Study is to establish an international database and bio-specimen repository to be used as a resource for researching clinical cancer genetics of sarcomas. The trial had recruited 175 patients, 38 of them family members by the end of the Sarcoma UK grant period.

Future plans include opening further UK trial sites to recruit more patients. Genetic analysis of samples collected so far will be undertaken soon. Further funding has also been obtained to support more research and analysis.

Results from these research projects provide starting points for further and wider scale studies and trials, leading to better outcomes for sarcoma patients.  On our website you can find a selection of papers, presentations, publications and other outputs from some of the high quality research we have funded.