Chondrosarcoma is the most common form of primary bone cancer occurring in adulthood; however, due to lack of research investment, treatment options remain limited to surgery. The severity of surgery required is drastically different between low grade and high grade, however, the stage and grade are very difficult to diagnose accurately and as such, surgeons often find surgical planning very difficult.

Professor Adrienne Flanagan has identified a possible biomarker which increases in levels as the grade and stage of a chondrosarcoma increases. In a project currently underway, which was funded by the Bone Cancer Research Trust in 2017, Professor Flanagan hopes to understand whether levels of this biomarker can be measured using a simple blood test and whether the levels of this biomarker in the blood can be used to predict the grade of a patient's chondrosarcoma more accurately. Eventually, it is hoped that this blood test can be used in the clinic to inform surgeons when planning the severity of the surgery needed and to monitor for recurrence more accurately.

To conduct this study, Professor Flanagan undertook a national collaborative project, which collected samples from any chondrosarcoma patients willing to consent and participate. Initially aiming to recruit 100 patients to the study over 2 years, we are delighted to say that this figure has already been surpassed thanks to the success of our sample collection Infrastructure Grants.

Dr Zoe Davison, Head of Research & Information at the Bone Cancer Research Trust said:

Patient participation and samples are vital to the success of research, especially when dealing with a rare form of cancer. We are delighted that our separately funded projects are supporting one another in this way, potentially bringing about ground-breaking progress for chondrosarcoma patients

The study has also benefited from running parallel to the 100,000 Genomes Project, a Government funded project which allows genome sequencing to be done on all bone sarcomas, including chondrosarcoma.

Professor Flanagan is expecting to report some exciting findings this summer, we will share these as they become available.