The National Institute of Health, in a combined effort with the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, has awarded a grant to a collaborative project led by the Rutledge Cancer Foundation of Fort Worth that aims to develop new treatments for Ewing’s sarcoma with minimal side effects, especially cardiovascular.
The award supports an ongoing effort initiated by the Rutledge Cancer Foundation in collaboration with Qana Therapeutics (Austin), Greehey Children’s Cancer Research Institute (San Antonio), Baylor College of Medicine (Houston), and UNT Health Science Center in Fort Worth.
Co-principal investigators are Gregory Aune, MD, Ph.D., of UT Health/Greehey Children’s Cancer Research Institute, and Jason Yustein, MD, Ph.D., of the Faris D. Virani Ewing Sarcoma Center at Baylor College of Medicine.
The team will use novel nanoparticle technology funded by the Rutledge Cancer Foundation and developed by Qana Therapeutics and Dr. Andras Lacko of the UNT Health Science Center, to selectively deliver novel cytotoxic chemotherapies directly to Ewing’s sarcoma tumors with a high expression of SR-B1, which is a receptor or protein located on the surface of the tumor cell.
More importantly, preliminary laboratory studies showed little to no cardiac toxicity in young mice, the Rutledge Cancer Foundation said in a press release.
Over the course of the two-year grant, the team hopes to generate critical data needed for early phase clinical trials on patients. Additionally, the plan is to further develop this approach using next-generation therapies, such as small molecules and nucleic acids, to more effectively treat sarcomas and other solid tumor cancers with less toxicity.
The 40-year-old Ewing’s sarcoma chemotherapy regimen remains a significant contributor to mortality and long-term cardiovascular complications in adolescents and young adults with cancer, according to the announcement.
The goal of this project is to bring less toxic and more curative cancer treatments to pediatric patients and young adults.
The Rutledge Cancer Foundation’s mission is to lessen the impact of cancer on the lives of adolescents and young adults, increase survival rates, and find a cure for sarcomas and other solid tumor cancers.
By bringing together physicians, researchers, patients, caregivers, and the community, RCF has funded more than $1,880,500 to support care, awareness, and research into less toxic, more curative cancer treatments for more than one million of adolescents and young adults battling cancer in the United States.
Community partners include UT Southwestern-Moncrief Cancer Institute, UNT Health Science Center and Cook Children’s Medical Center in Fort Worth, Children’s Cancer Therapy Development Institute, Qana Therapeutics in Austin, Greehey Children’s Cancer Research Institute in San Antonio and Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. .