There has been little progress in improving the survival rates of osteosarcoma patients in the last 25 years; clearly highlighting the need to develop novel, targeted, therapeutics for osteosarcoma.
Dr Gartland and her PhD student Luke Tattersall recently discovered that a molecule, known as P2X7R, prompts the growth of osteosarcoma and can alter the way in which the tumour is behaving. Targeting P2X7R in other cancers has shown a vast reduction in the growth and size of these tumours and Dr. Gartland believes this will be the case in osteosarcomas.
This project will use osteosarcoma cell-lines and patients clinical samples to determine P2X7R's expression and role in altering the behaviour of tumour cells, the clinical presentation of osteosarcoma and the tumours growth and spread to other areas of the body. This aims to demonstrate P2X7R as a novel target for osteosarcoma treatment.
Due to P2X7R being previously targeted in other cancers, it is proven that this therapy is safe and viable for use in humans, which creates a faster route to its development and entry into clinical trials for the treatment of primary bone cancer.