Targeting IL-23 in bone and soft tissue sarcomas

Targeting IL-23 in bone and soft tissue sarcomas

Recipient: Professor David Thomas
Institute: Garvan Institute of Medical Research
Funding: $100,000 March 2021 to March 2023

A world-first clinical trial to target the immune molecule IL23 as potential treatment for sarcoma.

Patients with advanced sarcomas, including osteosarcomas and soft tissue sarcomas, remain incurable with few therapeutic options in the advanced disease setting.

But now there’s hope, recruitment has opened for a national clinical trial that will test whether an existing therapy for psoriasis can help treat patients with sarcomas, which are rare cancers arising in the connective tissues (bone, muscle, tendons, nerves, fat, cartilage and blood vessels) and may occur anywhere in the body.

Read more: World-first clinical trial for sarcoma

In particular, the trial focuses on osteosarcoma, a rare but aggressive form of bone cancer that most commonly affects teenagers and young adults.

The phase II clinical trial is the first globally to test a new anticancer pathway for sarcoma and will investigate if treatment with a drug targeting the immune molecule IL23 could improve outcomes for sarcoma patients.

The trial is a collaboration between the Garvan Institute of Medical Research, Omico (the Australian Genomic Cancer Medicine Centre) and the University of Sydney’s NHMRC Clinical Trials Centre.

This study is collaboratively supported by The Kids’ Cancer Project, Cooper Rice-Brading Foundation, Australian Government, NSW Office of Health and Medical Research, SunPharma, Matthew Fisher Sarcoma Research Fund and Daniel Allchin Race for a Cure.