The QuadW Foundation-AACR Fellowship for Clinical/Translational Sarcoma Research supports a postdoctoral or clinical research fellow to conduct translational or clinical sarcoma research and to establish a successful career path in this field. The fellowship provides a one-year grant to support the salary and benefits of the fellow while working on mentored sarcoma research. A partial amount of the funds may be designated for non-personnel research expenses, such as research/laboratory supplies.
Mohit Sachdeva, Ph.D.
, postdoctoral associate, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC
miR-182 in Sarcoma: Metastasis Biomarker and Target for Radiosensitization
"Soft tissue sarcomas (STS) are a diverse group of malignant tumors that arise from mesenchymal tissues. Patients with localized STS undergo limb-preserving surgery and adjuvant radiation therapy (RT). Despite surgery and RT, some patients have local recurrence. In addition, one-third of patients with STS develop fatal lung metastases. Currently, there are no biomarkers that predict which patients will develop metastases. Therefore, I am investigating novel approaches to radiosensitize STS to improve local control and identify a predictive biomarker that can risk-stratify STS patients prone to metastasis.
"To study sarcoma metastasis, our lab has developed a primary mouse model of STS with mutations in Kras and p53 (KP mice). These mice develop high-grade primary STS and approximately 40 percent develop metastases to the lungs. Interestingly, these primary mouse sarcomas are relatively resistant to RT, similar to human patients.
"Using miRNA-Taqman-array, I have identified miRNAs that are correlated with metastasis. To assess the clinical significance of these findings, I will determine if miRNAs can be used as a predictive metastatic biomarker for STS and test the potential role of miRNAs as a therapeutic target for radiosensitization of sarcomas.
"These studies may lead to the development of a novel biomarker to predict metastasis for patients with STS. Also, these studies may provide insight into the mechanism(s) of sarcoma radioresistance and may ultimately lead to the development of novel therapies to increase the efficacy of RT for sarcomas in the clinic. I am excited about this AACR postdoctoral fellowship for sarcoma research because it will provide me the resources to translate bench side discoveries to bedside therapeutics at this critical stage of my research and will help me in achieving my scientific goal as an independent cancer researcher."
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