Liddy Shriver Sarcoma Initiative grant

Bruin , De Diederik

Dr. Diederik de Bruijn, molecular geneticist from the Dept. of Human Genetics of the Radboudumc, has been awarded an International Collaborative Grant from the Liddy Shriver Sarcoma Initiative (LSSI).

This grant (totaling $250,000) was given to an International consortium of four research groups from Vancouver (CA), and New York (USA), focusing on the mechanisms of disease in synovial sarcoma and the identification of novel therapeutic targets.

Synovial sarcoma is a rare type of soft-tissue sarcoma, that affects about 2 individuals in a million people each year. Although they may arise at any age, synovial sarcomas are more common among teenagers and young adults. This disease is caused by a single genetic defect that is found in virtually all synovial sarcoma cells and is therefore thought to be the main driver mutation of this disease. Conventional cancer therapies (surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy) are most effective against small tumors. When initial therapies fail to remove the entire tumor, the main complications of synovial sarcoma are local recurrence and metastases.

The presence of a specific driver mutation in virtually every case of synovial sarcoma represents a possible "Achilles' heel" of this tumor type. The cellular effects of this mutated gene may be particularly vulnerable to targeted therapeutic approaches, following the precedent of chronic myelogenous leukemia. The international consortium proposes to work towards the identification of such vulnerabilities and test potential new therapies in appropriate preclinical models with the aim to apply targeted therapies in future clinical trials.

Liddy Shriver Sarcoma Initiative
Over the past years, the Liddy Shriver Sarcoma Initiative has funded more than $2.5 million in sarcoma research grants at prestigious institutions around the world. The Initiative supports research that is targeted at finding cures for sarcomas, as well as research that attempts to develop more effective treatment regimens than those currently available. At the Initiative, we believe that improved outcomes for sarcoma patients are best achieved by teams of dedicated investigators working collaboratively and cohesively towards a common goal. The Initiative has funded several International Collaborative Grants (ICGs). These grants provide financial support that crosses national boundaries in order to advance sarcoma research. The ICG Program brings together global consortia of sarcoma specialists to work together on significant research projects.

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