The Bone Cancer Research Trust has awarded funding of £1 million to support the expansion of ICONIC, a national clinical trial for osteosarcoma patients.

Four years of extra funding has been granted to enable further developments to the study, which is being led by Professor Sandra Strauss, pictured above, at University College London (UCL).

The trial was first funded by the Bone Cancer Research Trust back in 2018, with the aim of recruiting every newly diagnosed osteosarcoma patient to gather their clinical data and samples for future research.

Thanks to collaboration between researchers, oncologists and pathologists across the UK, over 200 patients have been recruited onto the study by 26 hospitals – including all five of the UK's specialist bone sarcoma centres.

A follow-on study, "Advancing ICONIC" (Ad-ICONIC), has now been funded to build on the success of ICONIC. Making use of the data and patient samples already collected, the new funding will allow Professor Strauss and her team to extend recruitment, identify new targets for treatment, and design a clinical trial to carry new therapies forward.

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

We are delighted to provide the ICONIC clinical trial with four years of additional funding. Dr Strauss and her team have made fantastic progress with the study so far, which has helped to build a comprehensive clinical database of patients and valuable tissue samples. We hope that the next stage of the trial will bring us one step closer towards better treatments that will improve survival and quality of life for osteosarcoma patients.

Professor Sandra Strauss, Principal Investigator of ICONIC, said:

We are so grateful to the Bone Cancer Research Trust for allowing us to take our clinical trial to the next level. When ICONIC first opened in 2019, we first wanted to see if it would be feasible. We are incredibly encouraged by, and grateful for, the positive reception it has received from the osteosarcoma community. With this next found of funding, we can use the patient samples we have gathered to gain a better understanding of how the immune system affects osteosarcoma. We hope that this will help identify patients at higher risk of recurrence, as well as those who are likely to benefit from new treatments.

Left to right: Former osteosarcoma patient and BCRT patient ambassador Pete Lloyd, Head of Research, Support & Information Dr Zoe Davison, ICONIC Principal Investigator Sandra Strauss, and former osteosarcoma patient and GP Dr Philip Green.

Aims of the project

  • Recruit additional patients to reach a target of 300 and continue collecting blood and tissue samples
  • Review data from recent clinical trials to identify the best available treatment and develop a clinical trial to bring new therapies forward.
  • Build on ongoing research and utilise patient samples to identify potential immunotherapy approaches for osteosarcoma.
  • Collect MRI and CT images during patients' routine clinical care to increase understanding of the diagnosis and management of osteosarcoma.

How will this project support osteosarcoma patients?

Further support of the trial will drive forward research to develop newer, more targeted and more effective treatments, as well as map out ways to better support patients quality of life throughout their treatment and beyond.