Current treatment for children and young people with Ewing’s sarcoma combines surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy. Although successful in some cases, for many patients this combination of treatment doesn’t provide a cure and results in treatment related toxicity. The goal of the current Euro Ewing 2012 trial is to improve survival for patients diagnosed with this disease, as well as reducing acute and long-term treatment related problems.
As part of this trial, CCLG has funded some ‘biomarker’ studies, led by CCLG member Professor Sue Burchill of the Children’s Cancer Research Group at the Leeds Institute of Cancer and Pathology. These biological studies examine how biomarkers, or particular molecules in the blood can be used to choose and adapt treatment for patients.
Biomarkers that can be measured in blood are particularly attractive, as taking a blood test is easy. The funding that CCLG has provided has allowed the team in Leeds and their collaborators to produce and test standard procedures that have been introduced across the trial, improving the quality of the research. Through this research, the team hopes to ensure that their work on biomarkers becomes part of standard clinical practice, improving the outcomes and quality of life for all young people with Ewing’s sarcoma.