New Discoveries and Honors in Cancer Research

Read the latest cancer research and recognition from the members of the Damon Runyon scientific circle.
July 20, 2016
New understanding of mechanism underlying pediatric rhabdomyosarcoma

Amit J. Sabnis, MD (Damon Runyon-Sohn Pediatric Cancer Fellow ’13-’17), of the University of California, San Francisco, and colleagues, demonstrated that cancer cells co-opt a cellular “chaperone” protein called HSP70 (heat-shock protein 70) to promote their growth. By blocking that pathway, the scientists were able to kill cells derived from patients with rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS), a rare muscle-tissue cancer that affects children. The findings offer a potential new therapeutic pathway to fighting RMS, which is generally treatable in younger patients but can be fatal if diagnosed in older children after the disease has metastasized. The study was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.