Dr Robin Jones
The Institute of Cancer Research
Sarcoma UK is investing in research leaders of the future. Our PhD programme aims to start a researcher’s career in sarcoma by funding a training fellowship which focuses on a hypothesis-driven research project.
This project utilises the clinical samples obtained from patients in the CASPS trial to investigate drug resistance in Alveolar Soft Part Sarcoma. The work will provide the basis for new clinical trials that will help doctors to personalise sarcoma treatment to individual patients. It will also provide new insights into how to overcome resistance to the drug cediranib in ASPS patients.
TRANS-CASPS - Translational studies in the Cediranib in Alveolar Soft Part Sarcoma (CASPS) trial
Alveolar soft part sarcoma (ASPS) is a rare soft tissue sarcoma where patients are diagnosed at an average age of 25 years and have poor long-term survival of approximately 3 years. Cediranib is a targeted anticancer drug that blocks the formation and maintenance of tumour blood vessels, essentially depriving tumours of required nutrients. The effectiveness of this drug was tested in the cediranib in ASPS (CASPS) clinical trial which showed that cediranib has activity in reducing tumour size in ASPS patients.
During the CASPS clinical trial, some patients did not respond to treatment, and in others the effect of the drug wears off as the cancer develops resistance. However it is not understood why this happens.
By utilising the clinical samples obtained from patients in the CASPS trial, this project will investigate ways of identifying which patients are most likely to respond to cediranib and how best to prevent and treat drug resistance in ASPS. Through the study of blood and tissue samples from patients treated with cediranib or placebo, the project also aims to identify the biological features that allow sarcoma tumours to escape the anticancer effects of cediranib. In addition, the project will develop tools for real-time non-invasive monitoring of tumour response to drug treatment.