News

Sarcoma awareness month

26 Jul 2022
News
July is #SarcomaAwarenessMonth. Sarcomas are uncommon cancers that can affect any part of your body. A key symptom of sarcoma is a lump that gets bigger quickly.
 
This #CharityTuesday, as we near the end of the month, we wanted to share what we’ve been doing to help children with sarcomas.
Over the past three years, we’ve funded four different research projects focused on improving treatments or diagnosis for children with sarcomas.

Project 1 – Osteosarcoma

The first project researched how to slow the growth of bone cancer in children and stop it spreading. Through this project, researchers at The University of Manchester and the University of East Anglia made what may be the most significant step forward for children with one of the most common childhood cancers in 40 years.
Osteosarcoma is currently treated with a gruelling regime of outdated chemotherapy drugs and often limb amputation. But fewer than half the children survive more than five years. This is largely because bone cancer spreads rapidly around the growing body of a child, particularly to their lungs.The work, funded by Friends of Rosie at The University of Manchester, discovered that a protein called, MAPK7, controls the body’s immune response to tumours and by removing it researchers can slow the growth of osteosarcomas and prevent their spread to other parts of the body.

Project 2 – Ewing Sarcoma

For the second project, we’re partnering with The Bradley Lowery Foundation to fund new research into the detection and treatment of a rare type of childhood bone cancer, called Ewing Sarcoma.

The project is being led by Professor Caroline Dive, Director of the Cancer Research UK Manchester Institute at The University of Manchester, and Dr Martin McCabe, Clinical Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health at The University of Manchester.

The project is investigating the use of a blood sample to discover more about the tumour instead of taking an invasive tissue or tumour biopsy. This would be a far less aggressive procedure for children and could enable the earlier detection of relapse, as well as the improved monitoring of tumour response during treatment.

Project 3 – Facial disfiguration following radiotherapy

facial asymmetry
Emma was treated for rhabdomyosarcoma in her cheek.

The third project focuses on rhabdomyosarcoma and the risks of facial disfiguration following radiotherapy. Radiotherapy strongly affects bone and tissue growth, especially in children whose bones are still growing. Up to 75% of patients treated for head and neck rhabdomyosarcoma will experience some degree of facial underdevelopment resulting in marked facial disfiguration, which can affect quality of life.

This research project looks to understand, reduce, and even prevent side effects from radiotherapy for children with cancers in the face and neck.

Project 4 – Understanding the biology of Proton Beam Therapy for children with sarcomas

The fourth project is a grant of £70,000 to kickstart promising new research into the use of Proton Beam Therapy (PBT) to treat sarcomas in children.

The project is being led by researchers at The University of Manchester, with support from The Christie NHS Foundation Trust. They are investigating the biology of protons used in PBT to treat sarcomas in children.

The Friends of Rosie funding will allow the first steps in identifying new treatment combinations, which may ultimately make PBT more effective and kinder to children with sarcomas.

 

Help us continue to do more for children with sarcomas. By donating today, you can help us to find kinder, gentler, and more effective treatments for children with cancer. We also focus on quicker detection helping to improve the outlook and minimise the risks of relapse.

Be the difference. Donate today.