News & Press
Ewing Sarcoma Research ProjectFeb 3, 2013
We are making excellent progress on the Ewing cancer project in zebrafish and mouse models. We have submitted our first manuscript showing the role of the YB-1 human protein (Y Box-1 binding protein) in the spread of Ewing sarcoma.
We have seen that these cancer cells spread to the tail and the lungs in both fish and mouse models when the YB-1 human protein is expressed (used), and have seen that cancer cells do not spread when this protein is stopped. We are completing the studies outlined in Objective 1 of finding the most efficient doses of standard chemotherapy agents in Ewing sarcoma.
We will then test these doses in zebrafish embryo which have human Ewing sarcoma cells which use the YB-1 protein, and some where the YB-1 protein is stopped.
We are doing this test to see if this protein changes the impact of chemo drugs. We will then try it in the mouse to verify our results.
For Objective 2, we studied the drug bevacizumab (Avastin), a drug that reduces the growth of new blood vessels needed by tumours.
We found the most efficient dose of this drug for zebrafish with human Ewing sarcoma implanted, and we are looking at how tumour formation changes when blood vessel growth is stopped or slowed. We are about to start studies on zebrafish embryos with fluorescent-dyed blood vessels to see how this drug makes a difference to Ewing sarcoma tumours that use or do not use the YB-1 human protein. These studies will give information on whether YB-1 is adding to tumour spread be-cause it helps blood vessel formation. We have also begun a new collaboration with Dr. Kimberly Stegmaier from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston.
She has found a compound that stops a second protein, the focal adhesion kinase protein (FAK), that stops Ewing sarcoma cell growth. We will use zebrafish and mice to show that this effect also happens in animal models. Then we will see if this new compound makes a difference to cell movement and metastasis (transformation). Together with our original objectives, these new studies promise to give new information about the aggressive behaviour of Ewing sarcoma and potential new ways to stop this cancer.