Who We Work With
Our Unique Approach
The Osteosarcoma Institute takes a differentiated approach. World renowned osteosarcoma experts came together in 2015 to establish OSI as a virtual institute to review the most breakthrough and promising ideas in osteosarcoma in a way that has never been done before. As a virtual institute, the Osteosarcoma Institute and our strategic board are not limited by geography, primary institutions, or traditional review methods. The Osteosarcoma Institute is free to set the agenda in osteosarcoma research and is limited only by the imaginations of the brightest minds in the field.
Remove obstacles to identifying a cure by pre-funding pre-clinical studies and revolutionary fast readout trials of unexplored aspects of osteosarcoma
Fund clinical trials, translational grants, and osteosarcoma science to identify new treatment options for osteosarcoma patients for whom the first line of therapy has failed
Work together with the research, pharma, and clinical communities, monitor and develop the scientific landscape around OS to identify opportunities and accelerate progress
Raise awareness and galvanize advocacy of osteosarcoma in communities across the United States
Lizzy, Age 9, OSI Patient Family Fund Honoree
OSI Funded Work
Study conducted by Ryan D. Roberts, MD, PhD, Principal investigator for the Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Diseases at The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital
Commenced August 2020, this laboratory study works to identify the communication that must occur between osteosarcoma tumor cells and the normal lung to allow lung metastatic disease to occur. The hope is that understanding these communications could identify potential new drug targets to inhibit growth of lung metastases in osteosarcoma.
($500,000 – The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital)
Study conducted by Peter Scacheri, PhD, Member, GI Cancer Genetics Program, Case Comprehensive Cancer Center
Commenced February 2020, this laboratory study evaluates the potential role of new mechanisms to inhibit a gene required for cells to proliferate, called CDK4, to block the ability of osteosarcoma to metastasize.
($500,000 – Case Western Reserve University)
Developing New Drugs
Study conducted by Katherine Janeway, MD, Director of Clinical Genomics and Senior Physician, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Commenced in January 2020, this study will evaluate the combination of two drugs that inhibit DNA repair pathways critical to the survival of osteosarcoma cells. This is the first study to test this combination in osteosarcoma patients.
($800,000 – Dana-Farber Cancer Institute)
Applying New Drug Concepts
Study conducted by Richard Gorlick, MD, Division Head, Division of Pediatrics, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
Commenced August 2020, this is a laboratory study to develop new drugs called antibody drug conjugates, or ADCs, combining a drug payload linked to a targeting antibody that will specifically deliver the anticancer drug to osteosarcoma cells. Antibody drug conjugates are a brand new, very promising technology. ADCs are a way to build drugs that has never been done before and have had amazing success in some cancers.
($500,000 – MD Anderson Cancer Center)
Novel Drug Combinations
Study conducted by J. Andrew Livingston, MD, MS, Co-Director, Department of Adolescent and Young Adult Oncology, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
Commenced December 2020, this study will evaluate the combination of two drugs with unique mechanisms of action in an attempt to harness the immune system to attack osteosarcoma tumors in patients. This is the first use of this combination of drugs in osteosarcoma patients.
($200,000 – MD Anderson Cancer Center)
Revolutionizing Patient Support
Commenced April 2019, this was the initial investment to begin offering support and guidance through OSI Connect (formerly OSI Hotline) to patients, families, and physicians free of cost.
($128,000 – Honor Health Research Institute)
Testing Liquid Biopsy in OS
Study conducted by Brian Crompton, MD, Research Co-Director, Solid Tumor Center, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School
Commenced in July 2021, this laboratory study is supported by Lizzy’s Osteosarcoma Science Fund at the OSI in loving member of Lizzy Wampler. It will evaluate whether, as an alternative to surgical biopsies, a sufficient number of tumor cells can be isolated from the blood draw of a patient being treated for osteosarcoma to enable analysis of their progress. If this proves feasible, doctors will be able to ascertain much earlier whether a treatment is working or a different treatment should be tried.
(Dana-Farber Cancer Institute)
Harnessing Natural Killer Cells
Study conducted by Daniel A. Vallera, PhD, Professor of Therapeutic Radiology-Radiation Oncology, Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Minnesota
Commenced in July 2021, this study in dogs will assess whether utilizing cutting-edge techniques to enhance the efficiency of the body’s own immune system against osteosarcoma, in combination with radiation therapy, has the potential to be a safe and effective treatment for human osteosarcoma patients.
(University of Minnesota)
Unlocking Immunotherapy for Osteosarcoma
Study conducted by Elias Sayour, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor in the UF departments of Neurosurgery and Pediatrics at the University of Florida
Details to be announced soon commence in 2021, this study has developed a novel RNA-nanoparticle (RNA-NP) vaccine that simultaneously penetrates/reprograms the tumor microenvironment while inducing an OS specific T cell response. This vaccine utilizes a novel engineering design that layers tumor derived mRNA into a lipid-nanoparticle (NP) “onion-like” package. These NPs enable maximal isolated and stable packaging of mRNA into a fixed volume for easy distribution, cell- penetration, uncoating, and quickly boosts innate/adaptive immune responses against a personalized tumor mRNA cohort.
($400,000 – University of Florida)
What happens when the treatments are over and doctor visits become less frequent? Survivors share their experiences with life after cancer.
Family and faith kept Annabelle Grace going strong through a grueling battle with osteosarcoma. Now, she uses her story of recovery to help others.
Trusting their gut helped Jessica and Stephen Alwan get the life-saving care their daughter desperately needed.