University of Birmingham
Leveraging single cell & long read sequencing to unlock the molecular heterogeneity and immunogenome of sarcomas.
There are still so few effective treatments for sarcoma, and many patients have to undergo life changing surgery as their best treatment option. This means there is a pressing need to discover new targets for drugs that could help people with sarcoma.
Over 1,000 tissue samples from sarcoma patients have been already studied as part of a UK wide initiative known as the 100,000 Genomes project. Professor Beggs and his team now hope to hope to build on this work to gather much more detailed data from the sarcoma samples, by analysing the faults in single cells within tumours. Taking a focus on soft tissue sarcoma, the team will also analyse the proteins being produced in cells and the level of gene activity, to compare between people with sarcoma and people who don’t have sarcoma. The team plan to combine this information to provide a high precision map of what is going wrong, helping them to unlock the secrets of sarcoma.
From this data Professor Beggs hopes to answer a very pressing question – why don’t sarcomas respond well to cancer immunotherapies? Understanding this could mean that future immunotherapies could be developed that are much more effective for people with sarcoma.