Despite advances in conventional chemotherapy and radiation, complete cures for most cancer types, including sarcoma, remain elusive. The challenge is to develop highly targeted therapies that kill cancer cells but leave normal cells healthy. A big advance in cancer treatment in the past 20 years has been the discovery and application of ‘targeted therapies’. Targeted therapies are medicines that specifically act on parts of the sarcoma cells and either kill the cells or stop them growing. As they act preferentially on the sarcoma cells they cause less damage to normal calls and have fewer side effects. So far, the use of targeted therapies in sarcoma has been limited. This team in Edinburgh plans to rectify this situation.
The first step in producing targeted therapies is to identify ‘drug targets’ by using cutting edge instruments that can capture targets from very small biopsy samples. They will be focusing on ‘high grade’ sarcoma, as this is one of the most aggressive types affecting a relatively large number of people. This project builds on pilot data that has already identified three promising ‘drug targets’ from biopsies. Professor Ted Hupp and his team aim to investigate these targets to determine whether they should be ‘shortlisted’ into a larger therapeutics programme aimed at improving the health and longevity of patients with high grade sarcoma.
This study could lay the groundwork for the development of new ‘targeted therapies’ to treat high-grade sarcomas.
- Murray, E. et al. (2014) Quantitative proteomic profiling of pleomorphic human sarcoma identifies CLIC1 as a dominant pro-oncogenic receptor expressed in diverse sarcoma types. Journal of Proteome Research 13(5). Read more: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24661138
Presentations & Workshops
- New Diagnostics and Therapeutics in Sarcoma. Presentation given at Sarcoma UK’s Talking Research day. June, 2015. Manchester, UK.
- Presentation given at the British Sarcoma Group Conference. February, 2015. Nottingham, UK
- Developing New Approaches for the Next Generation of Drug Discovery in Cancer. Presentation given at Sarcoma UK’s Sarcoma Research Symposium (Basic Science). September, 2016. London, UK.