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Investigating the rare bone cancer, Ewing’s Sarcoma

  • Researcher: Dr Maria Paola Paronetto
  • Institution: Fondazione Santa Lucia, Rome, Italy
  • Award Amount: £108,090 for 3 years from January 2014
  • Cancer Type: Ewing's Sarcoma
Investigating the rare bone cancer, Ewing’s Sarcoma
Dr Maria Paola Paronetto is investigating a very rare type of cancer called Ewing’s Sarcoma (ES) which is commonly found in teenagers and young adults.  It can develop anywhere in the body, although it most often starts in the bone.  If caught early, before it has spread, 70% of patients survive for at least 5 years after diagnosis but that means 30% of patients don’t survive for 5 years after diagnosis.  The survival rate also decreases the more advanced the disease is when diagnosed.It is thought that ES may be related to rapid bone growth, hence why it is more common in growing teenagers, but its exact causes are still unclear and need further research.  Some chromosomes are able to break away and fuse with other chromosomes, creating a potent cancer-causing gene that is thought to drive ES.  Dr Paronetto is using her Worldwide Cancer Research grant to further investigate, at the molecular level, the proteins and pathways involved in the initiation of ES.  She hopes to identify pathways or proteins that could be targeted by new therapeutic approaches in the future and help increase the survival rates for ES patients.
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