Interview: Dr. Subbaya Subramanian, “Let’s make sarcoma the disease of the past”

Dr. Subbaya SubramanianIn 2008, KWRISF funded work done by Dr. Subbaya, in collaboration with Dr. Jaime Modiano, which allowed them to develop a research proposal for further funding from the Academic Health Center at the University of Minnesota.

The AHC awarded an additional $200,000 in 2009, which will support continued efforts to understand the gene networks that contribute to osteosarcoma development and progression. This may lead to new ways to treat osteosarcoma, or to a simple blood test to detect whether a patient’s cancer has a potential to spread, which could help doctors make better treatment decisions.

Dr. Subramanian has been researching sarcomas since 2003. Although only few funding resources are available for sarcoma research compared to other cancers, Subramanian is drawn to the field. Sarcomas often strike children and young adults, who have so much life left to experience. Subramanian would like to discover ways to help these people. His own proposed title for this interview? “Let’s make sarcoma the disease of the past.”

Researchers look for tools that will allow doctors to better treat their patients. One recent example from Dr. Subramanian’s work was the discovery of a biomarker to distinguish between synovial sarcomas and malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumors. These two cancers can look very similar on imaging scans and under the microscope, but the best treatment for each type is very different.

Through your support, KWRISF helps create the energy that sustains scientists like Dr. Subramanian. We thank you for this, and look forward to our future work together.

February 2009 Interview by Christin Garcia
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