Osteosarcoma is the second most common form of primary bone cancer, yet few advances in treatment strategies have been made over the last 25 years.
In order for current survival statistics of osteosarcoma to improve, new biological targets for treatment need to be discovered. This is currently very difficult as not enough is known about the genetic make-up of the tumours and what drives their progression.
Over the past 10 years or so, advances have been made in gene screening technology that allows the genetics of a disease to be investigated. This is a relatively high through-put technique and is used to gain a better understanding of the specific genes, or mutations, that are involved in disease initiation and progression.
Dr Holmes plans to be the first scientist to use these screening techniques to evaluate osteosarcoma cell-lines in this way and aims to identify the genetic profile of osteosarcoma. Using this process, Dr Holmes can investigate which particular genes osteosarcoma cell-lines are depending on to grow, survive and spread in the body. it is hoped that this can identify clinically relevant therapeutic targets that will lead to improvements in osteosarcoma patient survival.
The Bone Cancer Research Team caught up with Dr Harriet Holme at the 2017 British Sarcoma Group Conference as she presented her research findings to those attending. Read more about the British Sarcoma Group Conference and the updates we heard from Dr Holme in our news piece here.