In honor of Amanda Noble’s 29th birthday, here is a brief update on the research being funded in her name.
The Synovial Sarcoma Research Foundation and the Liddy Shriver Sarcoma Initiative awarded a $250,000 International Collaborative Grant for synovial sarcoma research funded in part by the Wendy Walk Foundation in memory of Amanda Noble. The research project, which focuses on understanding the development of the disease, is a global effort of five investigators in Canada, the Netherlands and the United States.
Synovial sarcomas comprise about 10% of soft tissue sarcomas, and they often affect adolescents and young adults. Conventional chemotherapies are of limited benefit to synovial sarcoma patients, leaving them at risk for recurrence and metastasis. Unlike most cancers, synovial sarcomas are defined by a unique genetic mutation. Unfortunately, scientific knowledge of that mutation, the SS18-SSX fusion oncogene, has yet to lead to improved treatments. This study aims to uncover the genetic pathways that help synovial sarcoma cells with the SS18-SSX mutation develop and thrive. The research team believes that their findings could lead to effective therapeutic strategies for people with synovial sarcoma.We thank everyone who has contributed to this grant in Amanda’s name. If you would like to further contribute to the research we will donate any funds raised in the next two weeks to this research at here.
Dr. Torsten Nielsen, one of the study’s principal investigator, explains: “In synovial sarcoma, the mutation that drives this cancer has been identified, but it isn’t targeted by any existing drugs. We’re trying to figure out what genes and proteins are its ‘partners in crime’ that allow this mutant protein to transform a cell into a dangerous cancer.” Finding those partners is key, because drugs may already exist to target them and cripple synovial sarcoma cells.
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