Sarcoma: Help support discoveries to improve sarcoma treatment

Last updated: 28/08/2013

Why this research is needed

Nurse preparing label for tissue sampleSoft tissue sarcomas are cancers that develop from the cells of supporting or connective tissue - such as fat, muscle, nerves and blood vessels. Around 2,300 children and adults are diagnosed with soft tissue sarcomas in England each year.

Around half of the people diagnosed with a form of soft tissue sarcoma in England will survive for more than 5 years after diagnosis.

We want to see these statistics improve even more and research is vital to saving more lives.

The impact of our work

Cancer Research UK is a major funder of sarcoma research in the UK. We fund a breadth of work that is relevant to sarcomas - from our fundamental lab research into understanding the biology of cancer, through to clinical trials
looking to improve treatments.

The work of researchers like Dr Beatrice Seddon, is essential to help more people survive this disease.

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Project closed - December 2012

Thank you so much to everyone who has supported this project. Thanks to your donations and fundraising efforts, we‘ve achieved the project target and have raised an incredible £49,000 for research into sarcoma.

This project is now closed, but if you would like to continue to support our research, we’re raising money for another area of sarcoma research:

Sarcoma: Support our research to beat this cancer

Project update - July 2012

Thanks to the incredible work of the fundraisers supporting this project, we have hit the target of £30,000 in less than three months.

In light of this success, the target has now been extended to £49,000 which is the equivalent cost of running the GeDDIS clinical trial for a year.

The GeDDIS trial is looking at whether a single drug (doxorubicin) or combination of drugs (docetaxel  and gemcitabine) is more effective as the first treatment for patients whose sarcoma has spread or metastasised, into surrounding body tissue or to other parts of the body.

The science behind our soft tissue sarcoma research

We are currently funding a number of research projects across the UK that are relevant to soft tissue sarcoma and its treatment. At the Institute of Cancer Research in Sutton, Dr Janet Shipley is studying an enzyme that is highly active in rhabdomyosarcoma cells. She is working to find out whether targeting this enzyme with drugs could be an effective new way to treat the disease.

You have already raised £30,000 – thank you. This incredible amount means that an entire year of Dr Shipley’s project has been covered. Now we are asking you to help us bring this to £49,000. The extra £19,000 would cover a clinical trial for a year (GeDDIS) that is looking to find better treatments for soft tissue sarcoma.

The GeDDIS trial, led by Dr Beatrice Seddon of University College London, is designed to find out whether combining two drugs (called docetaxel and gemcitabine) works better than the current standard treatment (doxorubicin) for soft tissue sarcomas that cannot be removed or have spread.The trial compares how well the combination of drugs manages to stop the tumour in its tracks and if they are well tolerated by the body compared to the current drug.

Dr Seddon is also looking at the genetic profile of the people joining this trial to see if there is a link between their genes and how well the treatment works for them, which could help us take another step forward towards developing personalised therapies that are selected for each individual patient.

The results of both of these vital pieces of research could help shape sarcoma treatment and improve the outlook for people with the disease in the future.

What difference can you make?

Cancer Research UK is the only UK charity with the expertise and knowledge to tackle all different types of cancer, including rarer types like sarcomas. By contributing to our current sarcoma work you could help us make more discoveries that will lead to a brighter future for people with the disease.

Please donate today to support our research into sarcoma

Find out more about the GeDDIS trial on our online clinical trials database.