AZCC represented at international cancer therapeutics symposium

Sherif Morgan, PhD
Sherif Morgan, PhD

Sherif Morgan, PhD, a research associate working with Lee Cranmer, MD, PhD, in the Arizona Cancer Center's Melanoma/Sarcoma Research Program, presented his osteosarcoma research findings at the 22nd European Organisation for Resaearch and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) symposium.

The EORTC-National Cancer Institute-American Association for Cancer Research International Symposium on Molecular Targets and Cancer Therapeutics is the leading European meeting focusing on the development of potential new compounds in preclinical and early clinical phases, translational research, and effective combination of targeted therapies.

The conference took place on Nov. 16 to 18, 2010, in Berlin, Germany.
Since cancer knows no national boundaries, this joint effort between these three organizations to conduct this conference is a premier example of the significance of the world-wide collaboration necessary to effectively battle this elusive disease, Dr. Morgan said.

In addition to the exchange of scientific information, the meeting fosters an environment conducive of developing global collaborations in cancer research, not only between academic investigators, but also between academia and the pharmaceutical industry.

Osteosarcoma is a rare disease, but affects young individuals between 10 to 30 years of age. Generally, localized osteosarcoma is effectively managed with surgery and chemotherapy, but the five-year survival rate in the metastatic setting is less than 20 percent.

New systemic therapeutic approaches for metastatic osteosarcoma are desperately needed to prevent the devastating effects of this disease. To expand the population of patients who could potentially benefit from these drug combinations, ongoing in vitro and in vivo studies conducted by Drs. Cranmer and Morgan will determine whether these drug combinations are also effective in other subtypes of sarcoma.

Funded by pharmaceutical company Supergen, Inc., of Dublin, Calif.,  this research project is the epitome of one of the desired goals of the EORTC-NCI-AACR international conference: collaboration between an academic institution and private pharmaceutical industry.

"While each entity pursues its own agenda, our ultimate goal converges at benefiting the cancer patient. Working together helps us identify effective treatment options and understand their underlying biological mechanisms that would hopefully benefit many individuals," Dr. Morgan said.