Professor John Anderson, based at University College London, investigated a novel approach to treating the Ewing Sarcoma Family of Tumours (ESFT); which includes Ewing sarcoma occurring in the bone. This novel approach involved investigating a protein called STAT3.
What is STAT3?
STAT3 is a regulator of many different biological pathways in cells; it is known to promote tumour growth and protect the tumour from detection by the body’s immune system. This indicates that it may be a worthwhile treatment target for cancer, and Professor Anderson’s studies showing STAT3 to be highly active in the Ewing Sarcoma Family of Tumours (ESFT) make this protein an even more attractive area to study.
What was the focus of Professor Anderson’s project?
Having already worked with STAT3 and collaborated on research to develop new drugs to block this protein, Professor Anderson and his team were uniquely placed to carry out this research and confirm the incidence of STAT3 activation in Ewing sarcoma. Their goal was to determine whether blocking this protein had significance in slowing down the growth of childhood tumours such as Ewing sarcoma.