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The Faris D. Virani Ewing Sarcoma Center has a strong emphasis on research. Our team has several targeted research goals, including developing a greater understanding of the:
- Mechanisms that cause cancer cells to travel throughout the body
- Stem cells involved in the initiation and development of the tumor
- Nutritional and energy requirements for the tumor cell’s metabolism
- Blood-based biomarkers, monitoring the presence of the disease, response to therapy and even prognosis
- Use of immune cells to specifically target and destroy Ewing sarcoma cells
The Faris D. Virani Ewing Sarcoma Center, located in Texas Children’s Cancer Center, is focused on the following major issues regarding Ewing sarcoma:
- Investigating the mechanisms of Ewing sarcoma metastasis;
- determining the novel biomarkers of the disease—not only those present within the tumor—but also those that are detectable in readily-available biological sources, such as the blood;
- Isolation, characterization and targeting of the Ewing sarcoma cancer stem cell(s); and,
- enhancing our understanding of Ewing sarcoma tumor cell metabolism and the role of the tumor microenvironment.
Through our patient-derived xenograft protocol, we strive to identify and understand aberrant molecular changes in Ewing sarcoma that are common to all patients and determine those that are distinctive and relevant in specific individual patients.
We believe that augmenting our fundamental knowledge in each of the above areas is important to identify biologically relevant therapeutic targets. The Faris D. Virani Ewing Sarcoma Center has a robust infrastructure that allows us to incorporate additional new advances in technology and research as they develop. Collectively, these approaches are likely to greatly impact our understanding of basic Ewing sarcoma biology and are directly applicable to either patient management or patient treatment and intervention. The overarching approach of the center is to perform every experiment with the expectation that knowledge gained from it will advance our understanding of Ewing sarcoma and may potentially lead to improved outcomes for patients with this disease.
The goal of The Faris D. Virani Ewing Sarcoma Center is to cure all children with Ewing sarcoma. We believe the physician-scientists in the center will make this goal a reality by conducting breakthrough laboratory research on the biology of Ewing sarcoma, using the information gained to develop new diagnostic approaches and identify novel therapeutic targets and new approaches to therapy. We utilize the outstanding clinical research resources available at Texas Children’s Cancer Center, to apply these novel approaches to the care of Ewing sarcoma patients.
We firmly believe that the breakthrough discoveries that take place in the laboratories of The Faris D. Virani Ewing Sarcoma Center will represent the future of Ewing sarcoma treatment and the best hope for children with this disease.
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