Kenneth Rankin and his team hope to tackle some key areas during this project to work towards the goal of improving patient response to treatment.
They are working with an enzyme known as membrane type-1 matrix metalloproteinase (MT1-MMP), which is produced in large amounts in osteosarcoma and Ewing sarcoma tumour cells. MT1-MMP is known for its importance in the growth and spread of primary bone cancer to other areas of the body.
Durham University have developed a drug called Theranostic Nanoparticle (TNP), which activates when it enters tumour cells that produce large amounts of MT1-MMP. Once activated, this drug will kill cancer cells and shut down the blood supply to the tumour. Furthermore, this drug contains tiny particles of iron which allow the tumour to be seen more clearly during MRI scans.
Newcastle and Durham University are now collaborating to test how effective the drug TNP is as a treatment for osteosarcoma and Ewing sarcoma. This project aims to prove the drug TNP to be a useful therapy in shrinking the primary bone tumours while enhancing tumour imaging and improving the treatment options available for Ewing sarcoma and osteosarcoma patients.
Kenneth Rankin was the winner of the 'Strictly Research Sophie's Award', and will receive additional funding to present his work at a conference in the UK.
Learn more about Strictly Research here.