Little Princess Trust News
Research aims to stop resistant cancer cells
LPT funds study to help Ewing sarcoma patients
Ewing sarcoma is a rare cancer of bones arising most frequently in teenagers and young adults.
Treatment with chemotherapy, radiotherapy and surgery has increased long term survival for some
patients, however in most cases the disease will progress leading to relapse and poor outcomes.
For these patients less than 10% are cured, emphasising the urgent need for new treatments.
The Children's Cancer Research Group (CCRG) at the University of Leeds, led by Professor Sue
Burchill, has identified specific populations of Ewing sarcoma cells which are resistant to current
treatment and responsible for progression and relapse.
The aim now is to identify drugs which kill these resistant cells, which can be added to existing therapies to improve effectiveness and minimise side effects.
Funded by The Little Princess Trust, Dr Liz Roundhill from the CCRG will work with Dr Pan Pantziarka,
of the Anticancer Fund, to identify the best drugs to tackle these cells.
Rather than creating new drugs from scratch, which can take 20 to 30 years, the project will be using a drug repurposing approach to identify existing drugs used in treatment of other cancers and diseases that might be adopted to treat patients with Ewing sarcoma.
Phil Brace, Chief Executive of The Little Princess Trust, said the aim of the project is to identify candidate
drugs which can be rapidly evaluated in clinical trials.
Professor Burchill said: "We are looking forward to working with LPT and the Anticancer Fund to identify existing drugs that could be repurposed to treat patients with Ewing sarcoma.
"Repurposing of existing drugs with known safety profiles is an attractive proposition to minimise the costs and time to improve outcomes."