Sarcoma research is a main pillar of the three pronged Rein in Sarcoma mission, with over $1.6 million in research grants awarded since its founding. In the summer of 2016, Rein in Sarcoma authorized a request for research grants from the University of Minnesota. We had five external experts review the eleven proposals received, and their recommendations were presented to the Board in January. These awards are the direct result of the broad and deep support that RIS received from so many of you in 2016. Thank you.
The awarded research grants for 2017 are as follows:
Engaging the immune system as a strategy for sarcoma therapy
Principal Investigator: Antonella Borgatti, DVM, MS Associate Professor, Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences College of Veterinary Medicine and Masonic Cancer Center
Co-Investigator: Daniel Vallera, PhD, Professor, Radiation Oncology, School of Medicine and Masonic Cancer Center
The University of Minnesota recently published significant results involving a breakthrough trial which demonstrated improved survival rates for dogs diagnosed with hemangiosarcoma (HSA). (See the article in Molecular Cancer Therapeutics).
Canine HSA is a vascular cancer (involving blood vessels) and is very similar to angiosarcoma in humans. Both cancers are aggressive and spread before diagnosis, typically with devastating results.
The study used the UMN-developed drug eBAT which simultaneously targets the tumor and its vascular system. Results showed a substantial six-month survival rate for the 23 dogs in the study, with five dogs surviving beyond 450 days. The study also determined a dose of eBAT that allowed effective treatment with substantially fewer side effects.
The researchers believe the study’s positive results, along with the similarities between HSA and angiosarcoma in humans, make a strong case for potential clinical trials for human cancer patients.
Rein in Sarcoma was one of many funding sources for this research. See the announcement of 2017 RIS sarcoma research grants to the University of Minnesota.
Opportunity for Osteosarcoma patients and families
The University of Minnesota Masonic Cancer Center recently established the Biology of Osteosarcoma (BOOST) Registry and Biobank which offers a single location where every patient with osteosarcoma and their relatives can participate in research. The hope is that by gathering information on a very large number of osteosarcoma patients and their families from all over the world, researchers can gain a better understanding of osteosarcoma incidence and survival which may lead to the ability to predict who is susceptible, detect tumors when they are small and eventually a cure.
The BOOST registry and ongoing University of Minnesota osteosarcoma research is made possible in part through the Zach Sobiech Osteosarcoma Fund of the Children's Cancer Research Fund, as well as the Rein in Sarcoma Foundation.