Rein in Sarcoma Board member and Research Committee member, Eric Lien made a major announcement at our Fall Fundraiser in Minneapolis. Rein in Sarcoma has awarded $45,000 in new sarcoma research grants to Children’s Minnesota and the Mayo Clinic. The RIS Research Committee reviews the top proposals brought forward by the institutions' evaluation committee, and in turn recommends final awards to the RIS Board of Directors for approval.
Rein in Sarcoma awarded Children's Minnesota a grant of $20,000 for “Expanding Opportunities For Early Detection of Sarcoma”
Co-Principal Investigators: Megan Hilgers, MD, pediatric oncologist and Kris Ann P. Schultz, MD, pediatric oncologist
Liquid biopsies are a promising technique to facilitate tumor monitoring and, in certain clinical circumstances, early detection. In this application, we propose to build on our existing ctDNA work in DICER1-related tumors and expand ctDNA research at Children’s Minnesota to include non-DICER1 related sarcomas including Ewing’s sarcoma, osteosarcoma and the variety of aggressive tumors including sarcomas which are seen at high frequency in children and adults with Li Fraumeni syndrome.
Funding from Rein in Sarcoma will: 1) Facilitate our participation as founding members of the Early Detection of Inherited and SecondarY Neoplasms (EDISYN) Consortium; and 2) Allow us to open a trial to assess the impact of ctDNA levels on survival in children with Ewings Sarcoma and osteosarcoma. Both of these projects leverage the clinical strengths of Children’s Minnesota and our existing DICER1related ctDNA research with existing laboratory expertise outside of Minnesota to more expeditiously bring ctDNA-related studies to children with sarcoma in Minnesota and worldwide
Rein in Sarcoma is awarding Mayo Clinic a grant of $25,000 for “Integrated Proteomic and Transcriptomic Profiling of Rhabdomyosarcoma Reveals Target Antigens for Immune-Based Therapies”
Principal Investigator: Patricio Gargollo, MD, Associate Professor in Urology
Co-Principal Investigators: Dr. Carola Arndt, MD, Professor of Pediatrics, Dr. Candace Granberg, MD, Assistant Professor of Urology, Dr. Haidong Dong, MD, PhD, Professor of Immunology, Dr. Fabrice Lucien-Matteoni, PhD, Senior Research Fellow in Urology
Rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS) is the most common soft tissue tumor in children, with nearly 20% of children presenting with locally aggressive and/or metastatic disease. A fundamental problem with this disease is the lack of effective and tolerable therapeutic regimens. Current protocols including surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy are extremely toxic and may lead to multiple deleterious long-term effects. Moreover, a significant percentage of patients tends to relapse and for those patients, life-expectancy is less than 5 years. Our group is dedicated to uncover molecules at surface of tumor cells aberrantly expressed in RMS. The biggest benefit of our approach is that cell-surface proteins are easily accessible for pharmacological intervention as cell surface is an effective barrier for the entry of therapeutic drugs. Our first objective is to analyze the repertoire of cell-surface molecules in RMS tumors and compare with normal muscle to identify potential targetable vulnerabilities. We will examine the functional impact of the expression of RMS-specific molecules on tumor growth using patient-derived RMS cells.
This proposal will lay the foundation for our next short-term goal which will be to design new therapeutic strategies to target RMS-specific molecules and evaluate their clinical potential for the treatment of pediatric RMS. Ultimately, our study will expand the therapeutic landscape of children diagnosed with RMS by improving patient response to treatment, increasing their survival rate and reducing treatment-related toxicities. Finally, our successful approach will be suitable to overcome similar challenges in other types of sarcoma very aggressive in children such as osteosarcoma and Ewing sarcoma.
The 2019 Rein in Sarcoma Excellence in Education Award was awarded to Dr. Christian Ogilvie at the recent Fall Fundraiser. Dr. Ogilvie has been a dedicated sarcoma cancer educator with Rein in Sarcoma since 2011.
Dr. Ogilvie is currently an Associate Professor of Orthopedic Surgery at the University of Minnesota and serves as clinic director for the Orthopedic Surgery clinic.. His primary focus is the care of bone and soft tissue tumors in people of all ages.
Dr. Ogilvie’s passion around sarcoma education and improved speed of accurate diagnosis has touched the lives of medical students, physicians, physical therapists, and athletic trainers across the state of Minnesota. He chairs the Rein in Sarcoma Medical Advisory Board and is a past Rein in Sarcoma Board member. He continues to provide training to the RIS Maudlin Sarcoma Scholars. Dr. Ogilvie is always the first to offer his time when it comes to educational presentations. There is no doubt his work positively impacts the odds of sarcoma survival.
We remembered Karen Wyckoff’s vision to support sarcoma patients and to galvanize researchers to find a cure for the disease. Many friends of the Wyckoff family who were there in the beginning as the foundation took shape, came for this historic evening to honor Pete and Sue Wyckoff for their passion and tireless energy in furthering the sarcoma story. The Wyckoff family, Pete, Sue and son Pete, and a host of family and close friends helped establish RIS as a nationally recognized organization.
In addition to Pete and Sue, we recognized the educators and researchers who work in the trenches with patients, in the lecture halls with students and in research labs. On this special night, Dr. Randy Hurley, medical director of oncology and hematology at Regions Hospital and Karen Wyckoff’s oncologist, presented the 2019 Excellence in Education Award to Dr. Christian Ogilvie. New research grants to Mayo Clinic and Children’s Minnesota, totaling $45,000, were announced.
As the evening continued it was clear the RIS mission would continue to make an impact under the strong leadership of Blake Hastings, RIS Board President and sarcoma survivor. Blake shared his sarcoma story, recounting with gratitude the physicians who expertly treated him with care and compassion and welcomed all to enjoy dinner and the rest of the evening.
After dinner and an exciting live auction, Denis Clohisy, University of Minnesota orthopedic surgeon, introduced Casey O’Brien, the evening's keynote speaker. Casey’s physical presence, his story as a four-time cancer survivor, and his drive to beat sarcoma to achieve his dream of playing football for the University of Minnesota Gophers was absolutely captivating. Casey embodies the RIS vision. He received expert care from physicians at the University of Minnesota who often work in collaboration with doctors and researchers at Mayo Clinic. He is also surrounded by a community of supporters who continue to encourage him to shoot for the stars. Casey inspired us to continue to educate, support, and to give generously to sarcoma research. Watch Casey's story.
At the close of a perfect evening, nearly $170,000 was raised to further the sarcoma story so that more stories of hope like Casey’s can be shared. Since the inception of RIS, research grants totaling $2 million have been awarded. It was truly a night to remember, honor and celebrate!
Thank you to our photographers: Bill Donovan and Ruth Hoban (photo booth)