News & Press
Researchers Poul Sorensen and Jason Berman have discovered a protein linked to sarcoma metastasisMay 4, 2015
The Ewings Cancer Foundation of Canada (ECFC) is excited to report one of many milestones to come; a significant Ewing sarcoma
discovery funded in part by the ECFC and led by Drs. Poul Sorensen and Jason Berman and their teams at the University of British
Columbia, the British Columbia Cancer Research Center, Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia, the IWK Health Center in Halifax and
the Institute of Pathology at LMU in Munich, Germany. Through their research and the use of a zebra-fish model, they have discovered
that a certain protein, called YB-1 or Y-box binding protein is elevated in high-risk and metastatic Ewing sarcoma. This Y-box protein
can directly stimulate the production of HIF1-alpha, a hypoxia-induced human gene, when large tumors outgrow their blood supply and become
oxygen deficient. This low oxygen environment allows the tumor to transform and become more invasive and metastatic ultimately resulting in a
tumor that is resilient to treatment leaving an unfortunately poor prognosis for the patient. However, when this YB-1-HIF1-alpha process is
interrupted or blocked, metastasis is dramatically inhibited. Previous research has indicated that if Ewing sarcoma tumors spread beyond
their primary site, the prognosis decreases significantly from 70-80% to less than 30%. By developing a targeted therapy that can inhibit
metastasis, in particularly, by inhibiting the YB-1-HIF1-alpha process, it is thought that patient prognoses will improve dramatically.
This research brings us one step closer to better and more effective treatments for Ewing sarcoma.
You can read the journal abstract and request access to the full article here.
Read a summary of the findings here.