Looking to dogs for the answers

Principal Investigators: 

Professor Matthew Allen

Institution: 

University of Cambridge 

Award Amount: 
£109,953

Osteosarcoma is much more common in dogs than humans. This project looks at the blood tests results of dogs being treated for osteosarcoma, in order to study the connection between levels of circulating tumour cells and disease progression. As the disease pattern of osteosarcoma in dogs and humans is the same, answers from dogs could translate into results for people.

Developing a blood test to see if sarcoma has spread

Principal Investigators: 

Dr Robin Young

Award Amount: 
£24,750

We don’t fully understand how sarcoma spreads through the body, it is thought that sarcoma cells travel in the bloodstream from the tumour site to other sites in the body. This study will look at whether we can identify these cells in the bloodstream. We’ll take samples from patients under our care and try to match any disease spread with different cells types.  

Using viruses to kill cancer cells

Principal Investigators: 
Award Amount: 
£63,606

Some viruses can be modified to attack cancer cells, whilst leaving healthy cells unharmed. However, it can be hard for the viruses to reach the tumours to attack, without the body’s immune system attacking the viruses. This project is looking at combining cancer-killing viruses with a technique that allows for to get them straight to the affected limb. This will give the virus the helping hand it needs to reach the tumour without being destroyed by body’s immune system.

Does where you live affect your sarcoma diagnosis?

Principal Investigators: 
Award Amount: 
£24,305

This project is using data sets from Public Health England and Sarcoma UK’s National Sarcoma Survey to look at how a person’s social background can affect’s their sarcoma journey and their route to a diagnosis.

Developing a test to predict which tumours will return

Principal Investigators: 
Award Amount: 
£25,000

When cancer cells have low levels of oxygen they are harder to treat and have a higher chance of returning after surgery. This project is developing a method which can measure the amount of oxygen in soft tissue sarcoma cells. With this information, harder to treat sarcomas can be identified early. The data can also be used to identify drugs which target these low-level oxygen cancer cells.

Stopping the spread of sarcoma from the limbs

Principal Investigators: 
Award Amount: 
£24,905

Cancer-killing viruses can be used to treat limb sarcomas if delivered using a special technique which allows the treatment to be given straight to the affected area. However, although this treatment can prevent a tumour from growing, it cannot prevent it from spreading through the body. This project is looking at ways to combine this technique with drugs which activate the body’s immune system, with the aim of developing a treatment that can prevent both growth and spread of these soft tissue sarcomas.

Putting the pressure on osteosarcoma

Principal Investigators: 
Award Amount: 
£25,000

This project investigates how the internal pressure of osteosarcoma tumours effects the growth and spread of the tumour. By gaining a better understanding of the role of internal pressure in osteosarcoma, it can be harnessed and targeted in treatments. 

Flicking off the switch for Chordoma

Principal Investigators: 
Award Amount: 
£25,000

Chordoma is a rare and difficult to treat bone cancer. Previous research has shown that a protein called brachyury is active in chordoma cancer cells, and when this protein is not active the cancer cells die. This project is investigating how this protein becomes active in chordoma and potential ways to switch it off.

Will the drugs work for me?

Principal Investigators: 
Award Amount: 
£119,960

Drugs which work well for some patients with soft tissue sarcoma can, in other patients, only work for a short time, or not work at all. This project is investigating why different cases of soft tissue sarcoma respond so differently to the same drugs. If you can accurately predict how a patient will respond to treatment, no crucial time is wasted.

Development of a sarcoma-specific patient-reported outcome measure S-PROM

Principal Investigators: 
Institution: 
Award Amount: 
£119,464

The Roger Wilson Research Award 

Patient experience is central to measuring the quality of care in the NHS, and government policy encourages the use of patient-reported outcomes (PRO) to facilitate patient-clinician communication. However, patients with sarcoma may have experiences which are not reflected accurately with standard or generic PRO measures (PROMs). The aim of this project is to develop a sarcoma-specific PROM (S-PROM) and a strategy to incorporate this into clinical practice.

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