Adamantinoma is a low-grade primary bone tumour that shares similarities in tumour location, radiologic features, and microscopic characteristics with osteofibrous dysplasia (OFD)-like adamantinoma. However, OFD-like adamantinoma does not progress into distant disease, while approximately 30% of adamantinoma patients, develop recurrence and metastases. Due to the overlapping features of these tumours, the identification of markers that can distinguish between adamantinoma and OFD-like adamantinoma, could be the key to ensure a fast and correct diagnosis.

The project aims to identify molecules (biomarkers) that can be used to highlight the potential for recurrence and metastasis, as well as to distinguish between adamantinoma and OFD-like adamantinoma; therefore improving diagnosis and achieving a more effective risk stratification of patients. These biomarkers may also act as novel targets to improve metastatic adamantinoma therapy.

What are the aims of this research project?

The team led by Dr Mark Morris at the University of Wolverhampton, has already identified 25 genes that are significantly up-regulated (more abundant) in adamantinoma, compared to OFD-like adamantinoma. In particular, they have observed an enrichment of genes involved in protein signalling (kinase activity) in adamantinoma, compared to OFD-like adamantinoma. This is of particular interest, considering that cases of adamantinoma that respond to kinase inhibitors have already been described.

The next step in the project is to shortlist these targets for biomarker and therapeutic target development and to validate their potential.

How could this project improve treatment options for adamantinoma patients?

Identifying those tumours that have increased capacity for recurrence and metastasis and finding novel therapeutic options are key for improving the outcomes of adamantinoma patients.

This project will act as a starting point for future work, to investigate adamantinoma-specific targeted therapies that will benefit patients.

Funding for this pioneering research into adamantinoma has been made possible by The Liz Clarke-Saul Fund.

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