This Bake It for Bone Cancer Day we’re encouraging our incredible supporters to help us Bake for a Breakthrough. With your help, we’re aiming to raise £25,000 –enough to fund one of our Idea Grants. These grants enable our researchers to collect essential data that will then be used to support a theory or study.

Below we demonstrate how small steps in research can often result in significant benefits for patients.

Back in 2019, we provided Professor Sue Burchill and Dr. Liz Roundhill from the University of Leeds with an Ideas Grant of £25,000 to study the tumours of Ewing sarcoma patients. Together with their research team, they examined a protein called neurexin-1 which occurs at high levels in Ewing sarcoma’s stem-like cells (ES-CSCs).

They found that Neurexin-1, a specific long form of protein produced by the cells, is the dominant protein in patients where the disease affects only one part of the body, known as localised disease, who later go on to relapse.

This means that this particular protein could be used to identify patients at high risk of relapse in clinical trialsenabling researchers to potentially change their treatment to the one given to patients with cancer that has already spread to other parts of the body (metastatic disease).

As a result of this finding and the incredible support of the bone cancer community, neurexin-1 is now one of the indicators that will be used to identify patients at high risk of relapse in the upcoming Ewing sarcoma clinical trial INTER-EWING-1.

This new trial will examine the effectiveness of adding another drug called regorafenib to the current chemotherapy standard treatment that is given to newly-diagnosed metastatic Ewing sarcoma patients.

The Bone Cancer Research Trust has provided long-term support to Professor Burchill’s research team since 2008. Our initial support enabled them to isolate and study the stem-like cells of Ewing sarcoma cancer (ES-CSCs). This went on to enable further research into the neurexin protein with the Ideas Grant in 2019, which in-turn generated the recent finding and its application in the upcoming clinical trial.

Bake during #BoneCancerAwarenessWeek (10-16 October), or anytime of the year that suits you, and help make a difference for primary bone cancer patients. Head over to our dedicated Bake It page here and we promise you a bun-filled time!