Humanimal Trust is delighted to introduce our latest funded research study, currently underway at the University of Cambridge where Professor Matthew Allen and his team are undertaking an "Evaluation of Metastasis Signature for Determining Rate of Disease Progression in Osteosarcoma".
Osteosarcoma, or bone cancer, is a common and potentially devastating condition affecting humans and companion animals. Primary bone cancers are those that originate in bone (e.g. Osteosarcoma and Ewing's sarcoma). Secondary bone cancers occur when a cancer from elsewhere in the body spreads (metasizes) to the bone (e.g. breast, lung and prostate cancer).
In both primary and secondary bone cancers, the growth of a tumour within bone leads to bone pain, bone damage and an increased risk of spontaneous fracture. Additionally, tumours that develop within bone have a high chance of subsequently spreading to vital organs such as the liver, lung and brain, often with fatal consequences.
The team at the University of Cambridge believes that controlling, or ideally preventing, the growth and subsequent spread of bone cancers to other organs will significantly extend life expectancy in cancer patients. To do this there is a need to understand the factors that determine whether bone cancers will spread outside the bone. By identifying these factors Professor Allen and his team hope to develop safe and selective treatments to target the tumours within bone.