Professor Alison Gartland and her research team at the University of Sheffield previously tested over 4320 different drugs for their effectiveness at reducing the growth of osteosarcoma cells.

Of those tested, five were found to be highly effective in reducing cell growth, while also restricting their ability to move. This suggests that they may also be able to prevent osteosarcoma spreading to other parts of the body (metastasing).

Initial results from the study also indicate that the drugs may also be able to kill osteosarcoma cells that are resistant to current chemotherapy.

The Bone Cancer Research Trust has recently awarded a research grant to enable the continuation of this project, which will benefit from collaboration between three sarcoma surgical centres to investigate the potential treatments further. The original funding for this project was provided by Hannah's Willberry Wonder Pony and shows the importance of charities working closely together to ensure research can continue.

It will bring together researchers from three specialist bone sarcoma surgical centres: the Royal Orthopaedic Hospital in Birmingham, the Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital in Oswestry and Newcastle University - all of which are supported by the Bone Cancer Research Trust's Infrastructure Grants.

What does the next stage of research aim to achieve?

The new research grant will allow the team of researchers to expand their initial results and test the drugs in more clinically relevant laboratory models.

It will also enable the researchers to use tumour samples from osteosarcoma patients, in order to maximise the relevance of the results obtained.

How will it benefit primary bone cancer patients?

There is a distinct lack of new treatment options available for osteosarcoma patients, particularly for patients with metastatic disease. This new research will hopefully progress these five potential new treatments towards the clinic.

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

"We are delighted by the initial findings from Professor Gartland's study. Her project could have significant benefits for future osteosarcoma patients. The next stage of research will benefit hugely from collaboration between three bone sarcoma surgical centres in the UK and the use of patient samples to evaluate the findings further, which has been made possible through our Infrastructure Grants. Our hope is that this research will lead to new treatment options for future osteosarcoma patients that will allow them to live longer and fuller lives.

Find out more about this research project below:

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