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
The Osteosarcoma Institute is a leading funder of osteosarcoma research in the United States, committing $6.8M since our inception to clinical trials and research studies. We are currently supporting a portfolio of 14 clinical trials, correlative science studies, and translational studies.
Phase II trial of Olaparib in combination with AZD6738 in patients with recurrent osteosarcoma
Clinical trial 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)
Measuring the phenotypic effects of novel targeted therapies with osteosarcoma circulating tumor cells
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.
($500,000 – Dana-Farber Cancer Institute)
NK cell immunotherapy and osteosarcoma
Translational 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.
($401,411 – University of Minnesota Medical School)
Correlative studies associated with an underlying clinical study of nanoparticle vaccines targeting metastatic osteosarcoma
Correlative research conducted by Elias Sayour, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor in the UF departments of Neurosurgery and Pediatrics at the University of Florida
Dr. Sayour’s clinical trial is hoping to activate each patient’s immune system against osteosarcoma by using material isolated from that patient’s own tumor cells. The OSI is supporting the correlative science associated with the clinical trial to find biomarkers that can predict which patients are likely to benefit from this approach.
($400,000 – University of Florida)
Activation of STING as a therapeutic strategy in osteosarcoma
Study conducted by Alejandro Sweet-Cordero, MD, Chief of Pediatric Oncology, Department of Pediatrics, University of California San Francisco
Commenced in July 2022, this study is supported by the OSI and Fabulous Faith’s Foundation in loving memory of Faith Rose Lautzenheiser. Shorthand for “stimulator of interferon genes,” STING is a feature of the immune system: a sensor that triggers an immune, cell-killing response. Dr. Sweet-Cordero’s research, using mouse models, aims to discover if something about osteosarcoma can be used to activate this pathway.
($500,000 – University of California San Francisco)
Use of combinatorial therapies to improve immune-mediated approaches for high-risk osteosarcoma
Study conducted by Jason Yustein, MD, PhD, Professor, Department of Pediatrics, Emory University School of Medicine; Pediatric Oncologist, Children’s Hospital of Atlanta
This study will evaluate combining two approaches to osteosarcoma therapy that may work together synergistically: immunotherapy, which utilizes the immune system to attack cancer cells, and targeted therapy that specifically blocks signals that are needed for the growth of cancer cells. The studies will be conducted in mouse osteosarcoma tumors that are believed to closely resemble human osteosarcoma.
($500,000 – Emory University School of Medicine; Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta)
OSI Past Funded Work
A Phase II multi-arm study to test the efficacy of Oleclumab (anti-PD-L1) and Durvalumab (anti-CD-73) in multiple sarcoma subtypes
Clinical trial 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 evaluates 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. The Rally Foundation for Childhood Cancer Research partnered with the Osteosarcoma Institute to co-fund this study.
($200,000 – MD Anderson Cancer Center)
Development and testing of novel antibody-drug conjugates in osteosarcoma
Translational study conducted by Richard Gorlick, MD, Division Head, Division of Pediatrics, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
Commenced August 2020, this laboratory study was supported by the Hartz Family Osteosarcoma Fund at the OSI in memory of Miles Hartz. This study evaluates new drugs called antibody drug conjugates, or ADCs, combining a drug payload linked to a targeted antibody that specifically delivers 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)
Exploiting vulnerabilities in tumor-lung signaling networks to treat osteosarcoma metastasis
Translational 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 evaluates 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)
Targeting transcription in metastatic osteosarcoma
Translational 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)
OSI Connect: Osteosarcoma Answers and Assistance
Commenced April 2019, this was the initial investment to begin offering support and guidance through OSI Connect (formerly OSI Hotline) to osteosarcoma patients and their families free of charge. Through OSI Connect, an experienced, knowledgeable osteosarcoma physician will meet with you about all aspects of this terrible disease, including treatment, possible side effects, and advice for getting the most out of your visits with your treating physician.
($128,000 – Honor Health Research Institute)
The Osteosarcoma Institute convenes events and scientific meetings specifically for osteosarcoma to help advance our mission.
Cancer and Evolution: Two Sides of the Same DNA Coin
In collaboration with Old Parkland
The Osteosarcoma Institute’s program, “Cancer and Evolution: Two Sides of the Same DNA Coin,” was held on October 6, 2022 in Dallas, Texas. A distinguished international panel, moderated by Michael Brown, MD, Nobel Laureate in Medicine, discussed how viewing cancer through the lens of evolution may suggest new approaches for treatment. Click the “learn more” button below for the event recap and recording.
The Complex Osteosarcoma Genome Symposium
The OSI’s “Complex Osteosarcoma Genome Symposium,” was held on March 4, 2023, in Dallas, Texas. The goal of this meeting was to better understand genomic instability and unique genomic complexity in the context of osteosarcoma. Genomic instability and complexity are characteristics of almost all human cancers, but at what stage of cancer development they arise and what their molecular basis is are questions to which we are only beginning to get answers. This meeting promoted collaboration among physicians, scientists, and researchers and facilitated with the idea that working together may translate research ideas and findings into effective clinical treatment.
College students honored their friend of 10 years by hosting a fraternity fundraising event for osteosarcoma research so others don’t have to go through the pain of losing a close friend.
Jasmine Smith, MD, knew she wanted to be a doctor, but she only decided on pediatric oncology as her specialty after her younger brother was diagnosed with osteosarcoma.
A grandmother living in Hawaii reflects on her teenage years when she was diagnosed with osteosarcoma. Her hunger for life is overcoming cancer’s lingering effects.