Childhood Cancer

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CD36-Sphingosine 1-Phosphate Axis in Osteosarcoma Progression

Medical University of South Carolina
Meenal Mehrotra, MD/PhD
Grant Type: 
Innovation Grants
Year Awarded: 
Type of Childhood Cancer: 
Project Description: 

Bone is usually the site for metastasis of different cancers such as breast and prostate. However, osteosarcoma (OS) is primarily a bone cancer that starts in bone. Most OS occur in children and teens in areas where bone is growing rapidly such as ends of long bone. OS is the eighth most common form of childhood cancer and approximately 35% of all primary bone cancers and can lead to a life-long debilitating state for patients, thus it is important to study this cancer so that novel treatment modalities can be developed. In recent years importance of tumor surroundings/microenvironment has emerged. A potentially exciting strategy for arresting tumors is based on the fact that tumor metastasis is dependent on ability of tumor to establish a supportive microenvironment in the host. OS microenvironment consists of cells such as fibroblasts and osteoblasts. Osteoblasts are generally thought to arise from mesenchymal cells in bone marrow. Our studies have shown that the other stem cell in bone marrow, hematopoietic stem cells (HSC), can also give rise to osteoblasts (H-Obs). Understanding the role of H-Obs in OS microenvironment can help identify factors that aid in metastasis of OS.

Project Goal

In this grant, we will be examining the role of lipid sensor, CD36 and sphingolipid pathway in OS progression by the non-malignant H-Obs in tumor stoma. Results obtained can help us identify the specific target molecules to arrest OS progression. Thus, these studies are significant as the findings can be translated to clinics as a therapy in future.