Exploiting the DNA damage response in paediatric sarcoma

Exploiting the DNA damage response in paediatric sarcoma

Recipient: Dr Emmy Fleuren and Dr Emmy Dolman
Institute: Children’s Cancer Institute
Funding: $261,649 June 2021 to June 2024

Investigating the “Achilles’ heel of cancer”, applying a new therapeutic window to childhood sarcoma.

Despite decades of research, no targeted therapies are routinely available for paediatric sarcoma patients. Existing treatments combine high-dose chemotherapy, surgery and sometimes radiotherapy. Early and late side effects are observed and despite these toxic treatments, survival remains poor.

Dr Fleuren and Dr Dolman will investigate a new group of drugs targeting a weakness in the way sarcoma cells repair damage in their genetic material: the DNA damage response (DDR). Evidence suggests inhibiting this process could be a promising therapy for sarcoma patients.

Learn more: Identifying the right sarcoma treatment at the right time

It’s not yet known which patients will best respond to drugs that hit the DDR, and which combinations we should pursue to maximise anti-tumour effects. This project aims to bridge that gap, informing which sarcoma patients should use these new drugs to maximise chances of survival and cause fewer damaging side effects.