Methotrexate is a primary treatment for osteosarcoma. Developed in 1947 it is a highly toxic chemotherapy which currently impacts cells throughout the human body causing horrendous side effects and often leading to extended hospital stays for patients.
Whilst we are working hard to develop the treatments of the future, it is essential that we improve treatments currently available for patients of all ages, where possible reducing side effects and increasing effectiveness.
We recently received an application for a four year project to be completed at The University of Bradford (UK), where a research group have discovered a unique way to chemically modify methotrexate so that it is only activated on contact with unique proteins which are found on osteosarcoma tumour cells. This means it would no longer affect other cells in the body, passing through without causing harm until it reaches the osteosarcoma, removing the side affects and potentiality increasing it's effectiveness on the tumour.
Thanks to the support of people like you we are already committing £882,928 to pioneering research this year, which includes being able to allocate £73,500 towards this additional project but we urgently need you to help us raise the remaining £26,500 needed that will see this project through to completion.
This project would mean so much to patients like Pete (pictured below with his family), who was diagnosed with osteosarcoma at the age of 30 and underwent a gruelling 8 months of chemotherapy treatment.
Pete's experience of methotrexate included; mouth and throat ulcers, oral thrush, reflux, tiredness and fatigue, constipation, sickness and exhaustion. Read Pete's full story here. In his own words...
After my first dose I had severe sepsis, the second dose I had to have a blood transfusion, third dose I had to have platelet and a blood transfusion and then I got an infection. I also developed oral thrush, which was horrific, I could barely open my mouth to put a straw in, my mouth was covered with ulcers, all over my tongue, and down my throat. If new treatment developments could be made by the Bone Cancer Research Trust to alleviate just one symptom - it will mean the world to patients! The treatment needs to affect just the tumour and not every cell in the body.Every 10 minutes, another child, teenager or adult like Pete is diagnosed with primary bone cancer, around 28% of these will have osteosarcoma and will face treatment with methotrexate. Please support our urgent appeal today and help make treatments kinder for patients of tomorrow.
What is methotrexate?
Methotrexate, formerly known as amethopterin, was made in 1947 and is a chemotherapy agent and immune system suppressant. It is used to treat cancer (including osteosarcoma), autoimmune diseases, ectopic pregnancy, and other medical conditions. In order for methotrexate to be effective in osteosarcoma it is given in very high doses, higher than those used in other diseases, meaning primary bone cancer patients face arguably the worst side effects.
Common side effects include nausea, feeling tired, fever, increased risk of infection, low white blood cell counts, and breakdown of the skin inside the mouth. Other side effects may include liver disease, lung disease, lymphoma, and severe skin rashes.
Supporting our appeal on Facebook
To support our appeal you can donate online now, donate to our Facebook Fundraiser and invite your friends to do the same or create your own Facebook Fundraiser towards the project. To create your own towards the appeal just copy and paste the below text into your fundraiser so we can see you are supporting this project and your friends will understand what the project is setting out to do.
Suggested Fundraiser title:
Let's eradicate the side effects of methotrexate for osteosarcoma
Please support my fundraiser today to help the Bone Cancer Research Trust fund a pioneering new research project aiming to eradicate the side affects of methotrexate. Methotrexate is a highly toxic chemotherapy that has to be given in very high doses to work on osteosarcoma. In many cases it causes mouth and throat ulcers, nausea, feeling tired, fever, increased risk of infection, low white blood cell counts. Other side effects may include liver disease, lung disease, lymphoma, and severe skin rashes.
The Bone Cancer Research Trust need to raise £26,500 to see this project through to completion so please donate today. Every 10 minutes, another child, teenager or adult is diagnosed with primary bone cancer, around 28% of these will have osteosarcoma and will face treatment with methotrexate. Whilst the Bone Cancer Research Trust are working hard to develop the treatments of the future, it is essential that we improve treatments currently available (for patients of all ages), where possible reducing side effects and increasing effectiveness. Please support my fundraiser today and help make treatments kinder for patients of tomorrow.
For more information on the project visit www.bcrt.org.uk/urgentappeal
*100% of donations made to this urgent appeal will be used for research