Already funded by the Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation
Alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma is a cancer of the soft tissues. This disease often responds to chemotherapy, but in many patients the available treatments fail –a deadly outcome. We identified how a cancer-causing fusion gene called Pax3:Foxo1 may lead to treatment failure: by turning on growth factor genes late in the process of tumor cell duplication. We believe this pro-growth, pro-survival process allows tumor cells to endure chemotherapy and radiation and allow tumor recurrences. For this project, learning how better to use growth factor inhibitors could pave the way to new designs of evidence-based clinical trials that prevent treatment relapse and could save lives.