We still don’t understand enough about how sarcomas spread (or metastasise).
We do know that sarcomas can spread beyond the initial tumour, but we don't know why different people have different experiences. What if we could find a simple way to identify who is at greater risk?
Many sarcoma patients go on to develop metastatic disease, so being able to select those patients with the greatest risk of their sarcoma spreading is a crucial step in improving the care given to sarcoma patients.
Dr Robin Young and his team at the University of Sheffield want to find out if a simple blood sample before a scan could help tell us if a sarcoma has started to spread or that someone was at high risk of their sarcoma spreading.
Sarcoma UK has awarded £24,750 to this pilot study that aims to prove that circulating tumour cells (CTCs), cells that have left the main initial tumour site and entered the bloodstream, can be isolated, quantified and characterised from patient blood samples.
In short, CTCs could be used as an indicator of metastatic disease. Scientists believe that once these cells leave the bloodstream, they then grow into new tumours called metastases.