This project is investigating the role of a gene called ‘TAZ’ in rhabdomyosarcoma, looking at how TAZ can be used in diagnosis, how it effects treatment, and if it can be used as a future drug target. It has the potential to improve both the diagnosis and treatment of patients with rhabdomyosarcoma.
A person’s age can affect the way their body breaks down drugs. This project is investigating the differences between the ways adults, teenagers and younger children respond to the drugs used in the treatment of Ewing’s sarcoma. If we can accurately predict how a drug will behave in a person’s body, we can provide more accurate and effective treatment.
Most cells of the human body have structures known as cilia, which are critical for the cell’s ability to sense its external environment. It has been suggested that there is a potential link between these structures and cancer development. In fact, 70-100% of sarcomas show loss of these primary cilia and the structures that give rise to cilia: centrioles. However, the role of cilia, and the genes associated with cilia formation in the development of sarcoma, is as yet unknown.
Pazopanib, a drug that targets a class of genes known as ‘kinases’, was recently approved for the treatment of advanced sarcoma. While some patients respond well to pazopanib, the drug does not work in all cases, meaning that some patients are exposed to the potential side effects of the treatment for little or no benefit. At present, it is challenging to predict who will respond to pazopanib, and it would be helpful to find tumour markers that enable doctors to identify the right patients to administer the drug. Furthermore, because it is unknown as to why some patients do not respond t
This project is using the latest technology to sequence the DNA samples from hundreds of people with sarcoma. By doing this the group hope to identify the genes which make a person susceptible to developing sarcoma. Any genes found can then be used as the basis of future genetic testing to identify patients who are at high risk.