With your donations Wings for Ewing Sarcoma is able to fund childhood cancer research projects for Ewing Sarcoma to further advance treatments protocols. Grants are reviewed, so you can trust that the money you give to this non-profit organization are used for beneficial and life-changing purposes. With your help we will be able to meet our mission goal and develop a plan that meets the demands for funding Ewing Sarcoma Research.
2020 Research Grants:
December 2020 - $10,000 Research Grant supporting the correlative biology in conjunction with *SARC037 Clinical Trial for Ewing Sarcoma patients.
We are excited to announce another research grant we are supporting this year. The grant supports the correlative biology in conjunction with *SARC037 Clinical Trial for Ewing Sarcoma patients. (https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT04067115)
Learning from clinical trials is of critical importance. Patrick Grohar, MD, PhD, a widely respected Ewing sarcoma researcher states that this effort of integrating extensive correlative biology in combination with a clinical trial for Ewing sarcoma relapse patients will be “a game changer”. The research, utilizing the expertise at four major research labs, will give insight into understanding the difference between patients who respond to therapy and those who do not. The leading-edge research includes detailed genotyping of the disease, analysis of circulating free tumor DNA, EWS-FLI1 transcriptome analysis, single cell RNA sequencing, circulating tumor cell RNA sequencing, and patient derived xenograft models.
Wings for Ewing Sarcoma teamed up with three other foundations, 1 Million 4 Anna Foundation (TX) ,Teaming up to Fight Childhood Cancer (TX), and I-Rok Foundation (MO) to fund the full research (a total of $200,000) being conducted by the teams at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, OH, Boston Children’s Hospital, and Children’s Hospital Colorado.
We are grateful to (clockwise from top left, above) Patrick Grohar, MD, PhD, Brian Crompton, MD, Masanori Hayashi, MD, and Ryan Roberts, MD for their commitment and dedication to this research.
More information on the study design from Dr. Grohar: “It has been known for more than 25 years that Ewing sarcoma cells are absolutely dependent on the EWS-FLI1 transcription factor for cell survival. Unfortunately, the clinical realization of an EWS-FLI1 targeted therapy has not been achieved. In this study, we will use trabectedin in combination with low dose irinotecan to therapeutically target EWS-FLI1. We have spent more than 10 years in the lab establishing exactly how this compound inhibits EWS-FLI1. We have used the information to determine the optimal dose and schedule of trabectedin/irinotecan administration that should realize the therapeutic suppression of EWS-FLI1 in patients. In addition, we have developed an imaging biomarker that should allow us to quantitate the suppression of EWS-FLI1 in patients in real time using a PET scan. Finally, we have designed the study to require pre- and post-treatment biopsies to confirm EWS-FLI1 suppression by more traditional assays. These biopsies will provide tissue that we will use to investigate the biology of relapsed disease using a variety of state-of-the-art assays and models.” Download and view the NOA letter here.
September 2020 - $10,000 Research Grant for Ewing Sarcoma Research to Dr. Brian Crompton at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston.
Dr. Brian Crompton is a physician-scientist at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and his research focuses on finding new treatment approaches for patients with Ewing sarcoma who do not respond to the first line of treatment of VCD / IE chemotherapy or relapse patients.
Dr. Brian Crompton and the Research Team at the Crompton Laboratory at Dana-Faber Cancer Institute (Pictures courtesy of Dr. Brian Crompton and Dana-Faber Cancer Institute)
In recent years, Dr. Crompton has found that Ewing sarcoma cancer cells are dependent on the activity of a protein called focal adhesion kinase also known as FAK. When FAK is inhibited, Ewing sarcoma cells die and cannot form tumors. Dr. Crompton is now partnering with a major pharmaceutical company that has multiple FAK inhibitors in clinical trials for adult tumors to complete necessary experiments to test the effects of FAK inhibition in a clinical trial for patients with Ewing sarcoma.
A few words from Dr. Crompton, “We are so excited to embark on a partnership with one of our heroes, Chiara Valle and her foundation, Wings for Ewing Sarcoma. We know that to break the trend of slow incremental progress in cancer care, we need to take on bold new research challenges. Together with Wings for Ewing Sarcoma, we will be able to test bold new ideas in the laboratory and then look to translate our findings into new treatment strategies for patients with Ewing Sarcoma.
In the Crompton laboratory, we use high-throughput screening assays to identify novel combinations of targeted therapies, such as tyrosine kinase inhibitors, that work together to kill Ewing sarcoma cancer cells. Our screening approach treats cancer cells growing in culture dishes with drugs combined using a robotic liquid handling platform. Each candidate drug combination is tested against cell lines grown from Ewing sarcoma tumors donated by multiple patients. In this way, we hope to identify combinations that work for as many patients with Ewing sarcoma as possible. Once we identify potent treatment combinations, our goal is to work with our colleagues in the clinical research field to develop clinical trials to test the efficacy of these combinations for patients.
The Crompton laboratory also specializes in utilizing novel DNA sequencing technologies to develop new non-invasive tests that can diagnose patients with Ewing sarcoma, predict their likelihood of treatment response, and identify relapses earlier than they can be detected with radiologic scans. These assays use a simple blood draw to detect the presence of minute amounts of tumor material floating in the blood of patients with cancer. Our first goal is to demonstrate that these “blood biopsies” are accurate and predictive. Once these tests are validated, our goal is to make these tests available in the clinic to improve decision making for to patients and their doctors.”
We are very excited to see how Dr. Crompton’s research progresses from here on and will share some updates down the road. Thank you for your support. This would not have been possible without you! View acknowledgement letter from Dana-Faber Cancer Institute.