Ewing's sarcoma is a highly aggressive bone tumour which predominantly affects children, adolescents and young adults. It is a tumour that causes extensive bone destruction and can spread rapidly. The bone destruction in Ewing’s is caused by osteoclasts, specialised bone cells which normally breakdown bone in balance with osteoblasts which build it up This study aims to look more closely at the way Ewing’s cells promote osteoclast formation which then knocks normal bone biology out of kilter, increasing bone destruction. This study may then open up a new avenue of additional treatment of Ewings and other bone sarcomas such as osteosarcoma. Sarcoma UK is funding the equipment needed for this study.
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- The Sarcoma UK funds were used to part-fund the research work of the DPhil studentship of Edward Hookway, who proved to be an exceptional student. After obtaining his DPhil at Oxford he has remained in sarcoma research field and is now working at UCL in London.
This work also led to the establishment of close collaborative ties working with Prof Adrienne Flanagan at University College London and Prof Dominque Heymann at the University of Sheffield. This has led to the investigation into the role of epigenetics in other bone sarcomas including osteosarcoma and chordoma. Initial results of these studies indicate that a similar mechanism of action of GSK-J4 is likely to be involved in these chordoma.