QuadW-AACR Partnership Helps Lay the Groundwork for Impactful Sarcoma-focused Research Careers
The AACR’s partnership with QuadW reflects the commitment of both organizations to make a difference in the lives of sarcoma patients by supporting the next generation of cancer researchers who are focused on sarcoma research.
As can be gleaned from the highlights below, AACR-QuadW fellows have uncovered important findings on sarcoma biology, including observations that can be potentially pursued in the development of novel monitoring and treatment strategies. In addition, many of the fellows have remained committed to sarcoma research as they embarked on their independent research careers.
2013 QuadW-AACR Fellow Mohit Sachdeva, PhD, showed how microRNA-182 drives metastasis of primary sarcoma. This finding can potentially be pursued for translation into the clinic, given that work from other investigators suggested that microRNA-182 inhibitors can be delivered in vivo using chitosan-nanoparticles.
2014 QuadW-AACR Fellow Ryan D. Roberts, MD, PhD, sought to understand why osteosarcoma primarily metastasizes to the lung and not to other sites in the body. With the support of his grant, Dr. Roberts found that lung epithelial and smooth muscle cells promoted osteosarcoma cells to produce IL-6 and CXCL8. Inhibiting IL-6 and CXCL8 with pharmacological inhibitors significantly reduced metastatic lung colonization.
Currently a Principal Investigator at the Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Dr. Roberts is committed to making a difference in the lives of patients with osteosarcoma, Ewing sarcoma, rhabdomyosarcoma and other pediatric sarcomas. He recently gave one of the two keynote addresses at the 2021 AACR Special Conference on Sarcomas.
2016 QuadW-AACR Fellow Joanna Przybyl, PhD, demonstrated the potential of monitoring and analyzing circulating tumor cells in patients with leiomyosarcoma. If the utility of her methods is confirmed in larger patient cohorts, ctDNA testing can potentially complement imaging-based regimens.
Dr. Przybyl continues to focus on sarcomas, specifically, leiosarcomas, as an Instructor at Stanford University. She recently received another research grant from the Leiomyosarcoma Support & Research Foundation and aims to study metabolic reprogramming with the goal of identifying therapeutic strategies for this disease.
2017 QuadW-AACR Fellow Michael J. Wagner, MD, aimed to elucidate the role of a receptor splice variant in sarcoma biology.
As an Assistant Professor at the University of Washington School of Medicine and physician at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance (SCCA), Dr. Wagner remains committed to sarcoma research and treatment. He leads the efforts at SCCA for treating patients with cutaneous angiosarcoma with oraxol. Preliminary results showed a high and durable clinical benefit rate.