CureSearch for Children’s Cancer, a national non-profit working to end childhood cancer by driving targeted and innovative research in an accelerated time frame, will fund a novel project aimed at developing therapies for osteosarcoma, an aggressive form of bone cancer.
Kristen VanHeyst, DO of University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital’s Angie Fowler Adolescent & Young Adult Cancer Institute, received a CureSearch Young Investigator Award to find immunotherapeutic options for osteosarcoma.
Although overall survival rates for osteosarcoma are improving, there have been no significant improvements in survival outcomes for patients with metastatic pulmonary osteosarcoma – osteosarcoma that has spread. This project may highly impact the survival of osteosarcoma patients by offering real clinical opportunities for treatment.
Dr. VanHeyst will target the molecule TGF-ß, which is produced by osteosarcoma cells and immune cells in the tumour microenvironment. The presence of TGF-ß dampens the ability of the patient’s immune system to eradicate this tumour.
“This project is innovative and may highly impact the survival of paediatric and adolescent and young adult patients with osteosarcoma by offering hope for finding curative options,” said Holly Zink, Director of Research and Programs.