Scientists Trace Origin Cell of Bone and Soft Tissue Tumors, Test Drug Target

Contact: Samiha Khanna Phone: 919-419-5069 Email: samiha.khanna@duke.edu https://www.dukehealth.org EMBARGOED FOR RELEASE until 12 p.m. (ET) on Thursday, July 14, 2016 DURHAM, N.C. -- Scientists at Duke Health are part of a team that has discovered a type of cell surrounding blood vessels can also serve as a starting point for sarcoma, a form of cancer that occurs in bones and connective tissues. The findings, made through studies of mice, offer insights that could aid in the development of potential new treatments for the rare but devastating cancer, which has 15,000 new diagnoses annually in the U.S. In an article to be published online July 14 in the journal Cell Reports, the international team of researchers describe tracing the lineage of the cancer back to the pericyte, a cell that supports the body’s blood vessels. According to the findings, genetic mutations in these cells led to osteosarcoma and soft-tissue sarcoma, as well as non-cancerous tumors. “About half of all sarcomas in the U.S. affect people under 35,” said senior author Benjamin Alman, M.D., chair of the Department of Orthopedic Surgery at Duke. “This cancer is difficult to treat, and for those who survive, they are living with the effects for decades. With new chemotherapies and surgery, we have seen long-term survival improve to about 60 to 65 percent, but advances have leveled off in recent years. We hope that by looking at the biological development of the tumor, we can come up ...
Source: DukeHealth.org: Duke Health Features - Category: Pediatrics Tags: Duke Medicine Source Type: news

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