Scientists at Trinity College Dublin (TCD) have developed a new therapy that can help treat the most common rare soft tissue sarcoma affecting young people. Synovial sarcoma is a cancer that is difficult to treat due to genetic mutations. It is most commonly found in the legs or arms, and may also appear anywhere on the body.
For patients with a tumor size of 5-10 cm, the survival rate after ten years is less than one-third. The TCD team used CRISPR gene screening technology to identify potential therapeutic targets in cancer biology. They discovered a protein called BRD9, which can ensure the survival of synovial sarcoma cells by working with the SS18-SSX protein that causes disease development.
The scientists then designed a drug that targets and degrades BRD9 protein. In experiments using mice, they found that the drugs they made could degrade the BRD9 protein and remove it from cancer cells, which could successfully prevent tumor growth. The study’s lead author, Dr. Gerard Brien, said, “It will induce cells to eliminate the proteins they depend on, causing them to die.” The team also found that the drug does not affect the cellular processes of normal cells, which causes fewer Side effects (if there are side effects). The researchers ‘next plan will be to test this new drug in patients’ clinical trials, and scientists hope that these drugs will enter the clinic in the near future. The research was published in the international journal “eLIFE”.